04 April 2018
SADTU in KZN has noted the resignation of the District Director of Umlazi, Mr Bheki Ntuli. SADTU views his departure as a cowardly deed from a once effective District Director who witnessed the District collapsing under his watch. Umlazi district was a beacon of hope and center of excellence that placed the entire province of KZN in the rudder through its academic achievements. We strongly believe that Mr Ntuli should have, like other Managers, objectively diagnosed the causes of chronic underperformance of his District working with all role players particularly his management team. Instead of putting the technical and professional capacity of the officials within the District into good use, as well as adopting a strategic discipline to serve the poor, he opted to undermine other people's capabilities and sidelined a powerful team of workers. He leaves behind an overly brutalized workforce, incapacitated by internal conflicts to perform above average and constrained by displacement of internal critical skills to deliver quality education.
Contrary to expectations of the education fraternity and driven by his overt hatred of SADTU he is reported to have squarely blamed SADTU as the cause for his resignation while ignoring self-developed incompetence. In a message allegedly prepared by him and currently circulating amongst his friends, he further claimed that SADTU was on a strike that disrupted examinations as SADTU wanted to fix posts. We can only dignify the public with a response that SADTU only pickected for a litany of challenges that confronted workers. Operations at Truro House were brought to a standstill when the building was flooded with water from burst pipes, had dysfunctional systems and Mr Ntuli intimidated workers instead of stepping in to solve the problems. It was HOD, Dr E.V. Nzama who had to intervene to normalise the situation.
We had wholeheartedly pledged our support for any venture that would assist our children to access quality education and consistently encouraged all educators to provide learners with more educational opportunities even during holidays and rest times.
Our contribution to educational attainment and desires for excellence in education prompted our Durban South Region, which organizes at Umlazi District to meet Mr Ntuli in January 2018 sharply raising our discomfort on the chronic and apparently uncontrollable decline of results in this District. As a demonstration of utter disdain and indifference, Mr Ntuli never appreciated this gesture, which would have paved a way for a collective approach to finding educationally sound solutions to challenges facing his District.
It is for these reasons that SADTU is of the view that Mr Ntuli left the employ of the State because he significantly lacked courage to rid the District of corruption amounting to more than R65m that SADTU raised with him as well as with the HOD and MEC. SADTU cannot be a scapegoat for his timely departure when SADTU had tried to assist him change the District results for better. Amongst the blatant maladministration, corrupt practices and deliberate derelictions under his watch are:
a. Displacement of 17 educators of Masakhane secondary school idly sitting in the offices and costing the employer over R500 000 a month in salaries. Further permitting volunteer educators to teach in these schools against the existing department directive.
b. Allowing a retired principal to manage and spend school funds for over a period of six months when he was no longer accountable to the State.
c. Allowing school to be without a principal for twelve years.
d. Allegedly flouting recruitment policies of the department by allowing a Circuit manager to manipulate interviews during promotional posts thus undermining legitimate school governing bodies.
e. Allegedly authorizing payment for undelivered goods to the tune of over R60m.
f. Alleged mismanaging of over R10m from an income generating government property under his care.
SADTU is even more pained by the fact that all of Mr Ntuli's senior managers alluded to these outrageous activities. Mr Ntuli's departure should therefore be viewed as an end to wild scale of malpractices taking place in the District and victory for the learners, majority of whom are technically plunged into untold vulnerabilities that reversed their educational opportunities over the last five years.
His resignation should not be an end to itself but the beginning by the employer to rid itself all forms of corruption in all Districts. Officials must in every corner of the province, know that there shall be consequence management for all their wrongful deeds. No amount of internecine warfare and mudslinging should conceal the underlying erosion of ethical behavior, accountability and good governance in our public institutions. To this end, SADTU calls for the HOD, Dr E.V. Nzama, to:
SADTU shall forever remain committed to education transformation, as she shall forever remain sincere to her resolve to fight corruption and all its manifestations. It is for these reasons that we gladly welcome the long overdue resignation of the District Director of Umlazi District. May the child a poor man prosper to her limitless heights.
082 611 7027
Deputy Provincial Secretary
082 611 7028