This is my confession'
MBABANE – An aspiring teacher claims to have bribed a government officer working for the Teaching Service Commission for a teaching post.
Sipho Ndlovu aged 33 of Fontotje, an area found in the northern Hhohho region said he paid the officer, whose name is being withheld for now, E10 000.
He had been promised a post in one of the schools in his region.
This allegedly happened in November last year.
On Wednesday, the aspiring teacher approached the Times SUNDAY to relate his story.
He said he was frustrated that despite paying hard-earned money, he still did not have a school.
His motivation for approaching this newspaper was a story in which Mduduzi Nkambule, TSC Executive Secretary, said he, specifically, was not corrupt.
It should be noted that the officer who was pointed out by Sipho Ndlovu as having taken a bribe from him is not the TSC Executive Secretary but another officer working within the TSC.
Ndlovu is the holder of a Diploma in Commerce, a qualification he attained in 2007 from the University of Swaziland.
He says he was lured by the officer into bribing him after he had failed on numerous attempts to secure a post with the TSC, a government body that acts as an agent responsible for the employment of teachers.
Describing how he was allegedly lured by the officer to make the illegal payment, the aspiring teacher said he submitted his qualification documents with the TSC as was the norm to secure posts by teachers.
He said a week after he submitted the academic certificates, he received a call from the officer who told him that he had secured a post for him but they had to meet discreetly to discuss the logistics of taking up the post. "We met at La Casserole Restaurant in Mbabane. He told me that since I knew how difficult it was to secure post for teachers, I had to pay him for the efforts he was making to assist me," he said.
Ndlovu said the officer told him to pay E10 000 cash for him to process the employment.
He said a week later, he returned to the officer with E5 000 and tried to give him the money.
"He rejected it and said I should bring the full amount," he said.
The aspiring teacher said he called several relatives to borrow the balance and eventually managed to raise it about two weeks later. "He said I should come to his offices at located at the ministry of education building," he said.
"I found him in the company of a lady who excused us immediately I introduced myself. I gave him the money and he said he was going to call me in seven days to finalise my posting to the school he had secured for me," he said.
Ndlovu said seven days passed and there was no call from the officer.
"After about three weeks, I called him again to enquire what was happening with the job because he initially made me to believe that my post had already been secured," he said.
Ndlovu said the officer’s response was that the post he had secured for me was long taken because I delayed with the payment," he said.
He said towards December the officer called him to inform that he should wait for the following year where posts would be available in abundance following the fact that temporary teachers were renewing their contracts. The time for contract teachers renewals came but the officer again failed to secure Ndlovu a post.
"I called him to ask why my posting was delaying because most temporary teachers had renewed their contracts but still, I was not called in," he said.
Ndlovu said the officer told him that he failed to secure a post specifically because he was supposed to give him one that was not very far from his home area of Fontotje.
He is lying – TSC man
MBABANE – The implicated Teaching Service Commission has dismissed Sipho Ndlovu’s claims that he took a bribe from him.
The officer first said he did not know Sipho and that in his long service with the TSC, he had never taken any bribe for jobs. "I am one ethical and disciplined person. I would never do that," he said.
Later, he changed tune.
"This man is a stalker. He has been calling me threatening me with all sort of abuse because we had a personal misunderstanding somewhere."
"I was expecting this because of late I have been ignoring his calls. I felt that my life was in danger," he said.
The officer called Ndlovu in the presence of the reporter and asked that they meet at the Mbabane police station where they would address the issue of the E10 000 bribe for a job.
Ndlovu told the officer that he was not going to the police but instead would deal with him in his own way.
He demanded his money from the officer and told him that he will fight him until the repaid it.
Efforts to get hold of Mduduzi Nkambule for comment on this matter failed because his cellphone was not available on the MTN network from Friday to Saturday.
He was wanted for comment because the implicated officer is his subordinate.
‘Name and shame him’MBABANE – Director of Education Sibongile Mtshali-Dlamini says the allegedly corrupt officer should be named and shamed.
"The Ministry of Education and Training is being tarnished by the allegations of corruption. We request the person who allegedly paid the bribe to come forward with information so that this issue could be investigated," she said.
She says if the officer prosecuted to clear the TSC and ministry name on such issues.
Jabu Phakathi the Public Relations Officer said the prevention of Corruption Act of 2006 stipulates that both the person who paid the bribe and the one who receive the bribe is liable to a charge of a bribery offence.
The officer who paid the bribe should approach us with information so that we could investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, Assistant Superintendent Stephen Dlamini, Police Deputy Public Relations Officer, warned the nation against offering money to public officers for jobs. Dlamini said it was a criminal offence to offer the money and also a crime for officers to demand it.
He said it had been proven that backdoor arrangements for jobs did not work and encourage the nation to follow proper channels to secure posts.
"Jobs are normally advertised and people apply and attend interviews. After passing the interview, they are hired," he said.
He encouraged Ndlovu to report this matter to police who will duly institute an investigation.
That people are made to buy jobs at TSC is nothing further from the truth.Nowadays,if you have a friend or relative at TSC,you are sure of getting a "good school" (one that is around town) or getting a transfer to a school of your choice.Ndlovu was just unfortunate that his post was so expensive.Otherwise,posts cost E2500, or so we heard.
May 27, 2012, 3:01 PM, Zondemanyala (Totolengwe@gmail.com)
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