The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has admitted receiving “donations” from corruption-implicated company EduSolutions.
City Press can reveal that in 2010 African Access Holdings, the parent company of EduSolutions, donated about R250 000 to Sadtu in KwaZulu-Natal for the union’s matric-enrichment programmes in that province.
City Press understands that African Access and Sadtu signed a memorandum of understanding in 2010 in which the parties “agreed to cooperate” on a number of issues, including the donation of funds.
Both Sadtu and African Access deny there was anything untoward in the contract.
Mugwena Maluleke, Sadtu’s national secretary, and his KwaZulu-Natal counterpart, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, said they knew about the existence of such a memorandum.
Maluleke promised to show a copy to City Press, but had not done so by the time of going to press.
EduSolutions is at the centre of the controversial R320 million tender to deliver textbooks to Limpopo schools last year.
The firm, which acts as the middle man between the department of basic education and schools, is led by former government employees. It has lucrative contracts to deliver textbooks in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
Mathonsi said as part of the union’s matric-enrichment programmes in KwaZulu-Natal in 2010, about 344 000 documents needed printing. “We requested African Access and other partners to assist. African Access was the major sponsor. They communicated straight to the service provider for the printing of the material as part of their corporate social investment programme.”
Mathonsi said the union was well aware that EduSolutions was contracted to the provincial department of education when they approached African Access.
“We had decided African Access should be among those whose doors we knocked on. There was never a secret about that … and there is no conflict of interests at all.”
Moosa Ntimba, one of EduSolutions’ directors, said African Access didn’t give the R250 000 directly to Sadtu.
“We didn’t give them any money. It was paid to the service provider who printed the documents they needed.”
He denied that this constituted a conflict of interest. “We all know procurement is handled by the department of education. I really don’t see why you have issue with us donating money for the betterment of matric results.”
Mathonsi added that with the help of African Access in 2010, KwaZulu-Natal’s matric results improved dramatically. In 2009 the pass rate was 61%, but in 2010, the results improved to 71%.
The union received assistance from African Access only in 2010, he said.
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