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Dept blames principals for textbook saga

More than 150,000 books have not been delivered to 39 Limpopo schools.

FILE: A photograph taken by the DA leader in Limpopo, Desiree van der Walt, shows boxes abandoned in a hall, apparently full of undelivered textbooks. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - The Department of Basic Education on Wednesday blamed school principals for non-delivery at nearly 40 Limpopo schools.

Officials on Tuesday confirmed that more than 150,000 books were yet to be delivered in the province.

The department told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria a combination of budgetary constraints and poor communication from schools was to blame for the latest textbook delivery scandal.

Basic Education for All, which brought the application, wants the court to force officials to deliver outstanding books by the end of May.

The group also wants an order giving the South African Human Rights Commission the power to police delivery.

The department said it was not aware that the schools did not have enough textbooks for the 2014 academic year.

Officials complained principals chose to report the shortages to non-governmental organisation Section 27, instead of directing complaints to the department itself.

At the same time, the department says the book shortages haven't affected teaching and learning.

The case is still underway and it's not yet clear when a ruling will be handed down.

Education officials were implicated in yet another textbook scandal back in 2012.