Desiree van der Walt MPL
DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Local Government
Following the deadline, last week Friday, to meet the DA’s Promotion of Access to Information Act application to have the policy on textbook shredding, Limpopo’s Department of Education has failed. Instead of giving us the actual policy, the department provided us, not with the policy but with what appears to be some exposition by an official of what the policy entails.
This is not enough, what we are seeking is the actual policy document authorising the shredding of textbooks.
The Department’s failure leaves one of the two possibilities:
Either the department does not have a clear policy under which textbook shredding is authorised. This is a matter of grave concern as it means that decisions to destroy learners’ material are taken at a whim of an individual official.
The second possibility is that, if that policy does exist, then the department could have contravened their own guidelines when destroying the textbooks in Seshego. How else does one explain that textbooks in good and usable conditions were being destroyed.
Why is the Department refusing to give us the actual policy.
In any event, even on the basis of the document that was handed to us by the Department, there appears to have been a clear transgression. This document mentions that “dilapidated books” can be put up for recycling.
The books we prevented from being recycled in Seshego are in good and usable condition and some were books about Dr. Nelson Mandela.
In the result, I will tomorrow be going to the Police Station in Seshego, where we first laid the criminal case of destruction to public property, to discuss with the officer in charge that in light of these facts, the case of malicious damage to property still stands.
In this visit, I will be accompanied by DA councillor, Karel Mogashoa who also witnessed the destruction of these textbooks in order for him to compile an affidavit.