Last Man Standing - Chickens Coming Home to Roost

As those who have had the joys of sex will tell you, the peak of that activity is the climax. That spasmodic giant boo-ya-ka, a real throwdown. Well, that is what I felt this week as the chicken finally came home to roost. The vampire I have been trying to see removed from the Blood Bank finally got its marching orders – Frank Segolatseleng Mogakane will no longer be part of the academic life of hundreds of learners who have had to endure maladministration, incompetence, nepotism and fraud. Ditau was a dysfunctional entity until I declared war everlasting against its deep-rooted culture of entitlement that saw learners becoming mothers because their teachers felt they were their fringe benefits. I came, I saw and said such free-for-all conduct must stop.

South African Democratic Teachers’ Union said it can’t ge done. They said that anybody trying to trample on the rights of their members will be met with their strong force. Well, that’s me – strong force versus me equals – well, nothing. Today I am the last man standing.

I am a patriot. I might not hang the national flag on my house or the mirror sock on my car. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Recently controversial Ditau High School principal Moganake resigned. It came weeks after his suspension and charging with financial mismanagement by the department of education. Following a series of investigative articles in this blog which exposed alleged graft at the school the department finally suspend him on 06 October 2010.

No one knows if Mogakane was pushed or chose to jump, but indications are he might have jumped to save not his reputation but his retirement and pension funds.

Following his suspension School Governing Body chairperson Platus Mokoena said they welcomed move. Speaking to this blog last week Mokoena said the move to remove Mogakane was a vindication of the body’s pursuit for clean governance in the face of mounting political pressure to turn a blind eye.

We have received calls from parents who are happy about developments. We are happy that he (Mogakane) has been removed from the school. His removal has contributed to stability since in his presence days were spent holding damage-control meetings as the teaching staff conspired to get rid of the SGB. Teaching has now stabilised”, Mokoena says.

Mokoena adds that it was time the department dug deeper and suspended more people as there were more educators involved in various misconduct. Without mentioning names Mokoena alludes to the fact that some of the financial mismanagement that drove Mogakane to jump before he was pushed couldn’t have been executed without co-operation from other teachers given that cheques are not signed by the principal alone.

He says even those alleged to be abusing learners should be investigated and removed. This blog can confirm that for some few years the second signatory to the school cheque was Mogakane’s younger brother’s best friend’s wife, an explicit conflict of interest.

Sources told us that cars from the department descended on Ditau weeks ago to issue Mogakane with his Notice of Suspension. “They wanted him to vacate the school immediately. He was sobbing and trying to negotiate the terms of his suspension”, a source revealed. On the day the political support he has received from heavyweights such as the Executive Mayor of Bushbuckridge and ANC regional chairperson Cllr Milton Moreme was nowhere to be found.

Unveiling a road project early this year Moreme told community members that the allegations against Mogakane were unfounded and were politically motivated. Mokoena said as an SGB they now feel vindicated in their pursuit of justice against union and political pressure.

Mogakane was earlier this year fingered in a dossier compiled by the SGB of mismanaging approximately hundreds of thousands of public funds meant for the school. A 23-page dossier spelt out how a school grant of R393961, 00 was allegedly spent in a space of two months. It decried the absence of a tariff policy to regulate travelling after the former principal claimed R57843, 00 in seven months.

The dossier alleged that bricks to build a guard house were bought for R58200, 00. A Kasiekulture Blog investigation of the brick type used at concluded that they retail for R2800, 00 per thousand.

He was also accused of appointing his younger brother, Lawrance Mogakane’s company to audit Ditau’s books, concealing massive fraud that could have been picked by a first year Accounting student in the process. Young Mogakane is the former Chief Financial Officer of Bohlabela District Municipality who was fired under a cloud five years ago.

The department (of education) noted levels of mismanagement at the (Ditau) school following an investigation done by the internal audit. As such the principal was suspended, will appear before the departmental disciplinary committee in due course”, education spokesperson Jasper Zwane said last week before Mogakane resigned.

Zwane adds that, “the department conducts internal audits in schools, train SGBs on financial management and constantly monitor how funds are being managed”.

Concerned teachers at Lehlasedi High School have requested the department to investigate the disappearance of building material worth tens of thousands of rands at the school two years ago on the same day that it was delivered regardless of the presence of a security guard. No one has been arrested for the theft regardless of the SGB of the school being led by a police commissioner.

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