The Department of Education notes with concern the vexatious statements sent on social media and to various people by a service provider a Mr B Nkola of Rickshaw Trade meant to cast aspersions on the integrity of the Department.
It is proper that the Eastern Cape Department of Education takes the public into confidence for the real reasons why he is doing these actions which he is not disclosing as he masquerades as a concerned citizen.
Rickshaw Trade and Invest 49 owned by Mr Nkola signed a service level agreement with the department to deliver school furniture in our schools which is one of the required resources in our schools for a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
The AGSA picked up an irregularity when this company fraudulently submitted an invoice (No. 20105) on 07 December 2020 and this was subsequently processed for payment on December 10th of the same year without any proof of delivery of the material to any of our schools. Risk Management conducted an investigation and determined that indeed this company had engaged in this act.
The department opened a criminal case against Rickshaw Trade and Invest 49 in the Zwelitsha Police Station, with case no. 75/06/2021. Furthermore, the matter has been escalated to the HAWKS in line with the departmental Fraud and Anti-Corruption and Escalation Policy who have now concluded their investigation and handed the matter to the NPA for prosecution.
The department instituted disciplinary action against the officials implicated in the processing of this transaction. The Office of the State Attorney has been instructed to recover this amount to be paid back to the coffers of the department.
We therefore advise Mr Nkola to rather worry most about the children of the province who await their desks as he was appointed to do or face the might of the law. We will not watch when the Department takes action against opportunism that we get attacked for doing what is right.
The delays in LTSM delivery are a direct result of the budget cuts in the province hence the Department requested help from the National Department of Education and Provincial Treasury which we got in December 2021. This media statement is meant to caution those who intentionally mislead with the hope that we will be threatened to keep quiet and play with the emotions of the people of the province. The truth behind these acts will be exposed. The Department will continue to speed up the delivery of LTSM as it is doing.