Glenvista saga: About R8m squandered by corrupt SGB

A forensic probe has revealed the former school principal & SGB squandered funds for personal benefit.

Glenvista High School picture in Mondeor, South of Johannesburg. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng education department has opened a criminal case against Glenvista High School officials accused of squandering millions of rand.

On Monday, MEC Panyaza Lesufi revealed what he called shocking findings from an investigation conducted by auditing firm KPMG.

Among those implicated is the former principal and members from the 2012-2014 school governing body who were found guilty of using school funds for personal benefit.

The Gauteng education department's case will now be registered with the Mondeor police station and a docket will be opened for investigation with the Hawks.

Department spokesperson Pumla Sekhonyane said, "We still obviously need to register a docket and hand it over to the investigating officer."

Sekhonyane said the department wanted to send a clear message of good governance to all schools.

"Obviously the business of schools is to manage and ensure that there's proper teaching and learning, but good governance is a very important part of that."

While she said the final figure was still being quantified, officials at the Johannesburg Specialised Crime Court estimate roughly R8 million was squandered through maladministration and for personal benefit.

Among the irregularities, the KPMG audit found the former governing body guilty of operating at least eight unapproved bank and investment accounts as well as using unapproved building plans.

It also found that a former principal used school funds to pay for the levies on his holiday home, personal air travel and hunting trips.

The MEC said he was assessing whether a wider financial investigation was needed into former model C schools in the province.

He said he feared that this could be a wider trend and he intended holding those found guilty to account.

"I've instructed the head of department to sample some of our schools. We might have to have a broader based investigation in all our former model C schools to check whether this is not a trend."

Lesufi said this was a clear example of looting from parents who worked hard to put their children through school.

"It's shocking. Hard-earned cash of parents is being misused by a few individuals who believe they're entitled."

LISTEN: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was approached by whistleblowers to launch a probe into allegations of extreme financial mismanagement at Glenvista High School.