Solly Tshitangano is a man who should be celebrated as a hero for his role in exposing irregularities in the textbook tender in Limpopo. For over two years he has been at the forefront of efforts to expose irregularities in the contract awarded to EduSolutions in 2010. His story was featured on Carte Blanche on Sunday 19 August in its exposé of corruption in Limpopo.
In his capacity as then Acting Chief Financial Officer in the Limpopo Provincial Department of Education, Solly Tshitangano was the first person to question the legality of the EduSolutions tender to procure and deliver textbooks to schools in Limpopo. During 2010 he made a number of attempts to deal with these concerns internally but was ignored and his objections overridden. He eventually escalated his concerns to the Premier of Limpopo, the Public Protector and the Presidency; though here again it led to no action.
For his efforts, he was locked out of his office; subjected to a forensic audit, suspended and eventually dismissed in December 2011. Since that time he has been unemployed and has not even been paid his pension.
Solly Tshitangano has fought a lonely battle against mismanagement and possible corruption. His allegations were ignored for nearly two years by officials and politicians.
But they have recently been vindicated. As a result of allegations of corruption the DBE cancelled the EduSolutions tender in April 2012. Following this, in June 2012 EduSolutions sought an urgent court order against the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to reverse the cancellation of their contract. In its replying affidavit the DBE used the information provided by Tshitangano as evidence to justify its decision to cancel the contract.
It is ironic that the Minister of Basic Education is now relying on Tshitangano’s allegations whilst at the same time is opposing his efforts in the Labour Court to have his dismissal overturned. Consequently Solly Tshitangano is still unemployed and fighting for his job.
Brave and courageous people like Solly Tshitangano are vital in the fight against corruption. SECTION27 calls on the Minister of Basic Education to immediately reinstate Solly Tshitangano. We also call for the Presidency to make a public statement of support for all whistle-blowers in Limpopo and elsewhere who expose corruption and wrongdoing.
For further comment, please contact Mark Heywood, Executive Director on 083 634-8806
View the press release as a PDF here.
Corruption Watch joins the call by rights group Section27 for the reinstatement of Limpopo textbooks whistleblower Solly Tshitangano, who was fired for raising the flag on the EduSolutions tender to procure and deliver textbooks to schools in the province.