FS Education given 14-days to act on embattled Motheo District Director

───   OLEBOGENG MOTSE 11:43 Sun, 02 May 2021

FS Education given 14-days to act on embattled Motheo District Director | News Article

The Free State Education Department has been given a 14-working day window to act on allegations of abuse of power levelled against the Motheo District Director, December Moloi.

On Friday 30 April, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Free State marched to the department’s headquarters in Bloemfontein – The Fidel Castro Building – calling for the suspension of Moloi as the Motheo District Director, pending an investigation into allegations levelled against him of mistreatment of staff, inaction on issues in his district, corruption and sexual extortion in the workplace. 

The demonstrating group handed over a memorandum of demands to the department on Friday, which calls for the transfer of cases at district level to the office of MEC Tate Makgoe. 

The Regional Chairperson of the EFF in Mangaung, Boitumelo Radebe, elaborates on their other demands.

“All of the victims be given an opportunity to present their case to the office of the MEC. Free counselling must be provided to Moloi’s alleged victims whom were at one stage all being treated for depression. The independent panel appointed by Moloi to deal with issues in the district must be disbanded,” says Radebe.

The EFF says should their demands not be met within the aforementioned window, they will march to Katleho Building – the district headquarters in Bloemfontein – to remove Moloi themselves. Free State Education spokesperson, Howard Ndaba, says the memorandum of demands is receiving attention from the “authority”.

Moloi is also being criticised for the handling of reported racism and nepotism at schools in his district. He is alleged to have insulted teachers, who approached him to intervene with regards to issues. An example is made of the situation at HTS Louis Botha, where a video of a learner complaining about a teacher’s alleged use of a racist slur was distributed on social media and later garnered media attention. Radebe reveals educators in the district are not happy that the Louis Botha teacher in question is yet to be suspended. This is despite Ndaba maintaining that internal disciplinary processes have been launched. 

The South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (Sadtu) in the Free State’s Provincial Secretary, Moloi Mokholoane, tells OFM News, the department only reacts when alerted to racial tensions and as a result, they are only dealing with the symptoms of racial tensions at schools – specifically HTS Louis Botha Technical High School and Kruitberg Primary School - and not the systemic cause.  “The issue of racism is on the rise. It’s been there and is not starting to manifest now. What we think is happening, is that the department is not conducting a thorough investigation into issues of racism. There is no deliberate programme that seeks to sort out the problem,” says Mokholoane.

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