angie motshekga government accountability cartoon

angie motshekga government accountability

Government Accountability: Limpopo Textbook Crisis

Last year, when Wonkie appeared on BBC World to comment on the political transition in Libya, Wonkie suggested that South Africa would best be able to support the move to democracy by sharing its experience in constitutional development and the implementation of political governance structures. Recent events in South Africa indicate that South Africa can further support the process by showing the world exactly what NOT to do when it comes to government accountability.

This story finds itself surrounded by a number of international scandals – notably the most recent Barclays Libor rate fixing one that wiped out a huge chunk of the British bank’s market value. Regardless of whether Barclays CEO Bob Diamond was directly involved or not, since it happened on his watch, Mr Diamond stepped down from his role. Further Marcus Agius, Barclays chairman will also resign from his role later this year. Clear accountability is a prerequisite for strong governance – whether it’s in the corporate world or in politics.

In South Africa, however, government accountability is like something out of a Harry Potter novel – pure fantasy. This is clearly demonstrated by the Limpopo textbooks crisis, if not by the numerous other examples over the last year: consider Schabir Shaik, Richard Mdluli and Jackie Selebi to mention but a few.

So let’s examine the facts around the Limpopo text books crisis. The ANC openly claims that education is a huge priority for them. Jacob Zuma set up a new unit in the presidency to evaluate and measure performance headed up by Collins Chabane. Under the watch of Angie Motshekga, the basic education minister, Limpopo learners have still not received their textbooks 7 months into the academic year. To aggravate matters, textbooks were found to have been dumped and burned and the company being awarded the textbook distribution tender was paid millions more than was agreed. So the question in Wonkie’s mind is what is this lady doing? What on earth is Collins Chabane measuring and evaluating? Where does the buck stop here?

Given South Africa’s flexi-governance and zero accountability protocols, Wonkie expects to likely hear one or more of the following 10 things from Angie Motshekga rather than an offer of her resignation:

  1. The non-delivery of textbooks in Limpopo is clearly the result of the legacy of apartheid;
  2. We held back on the old textbooks because we wanted to include the latest findings on the God Particle for the learners;
  3. Textbook delivery is not in my job description so why are you looking at me for answers?
  4. I’m sorry, that’s all I have to say (sung to Tracy Chapman’s tune);
  5. We were missing Julius Malema and were hoping this would get him to come out of the woodwork again;
  6. Given the circumstances, the Department of Education has decided to reduce the passing grade in Limpopo to 15% – this will ensure that the ANC is on track to meet its education targets;
  7. We are encouraging parents and learners not to panic, there are still 5 months left this year to catch up;
  8. We were extending the Outcome Based Education concept and hoping students would be more entrepreneurial about learning if we didn’t give them textbooks – guess that’s not working so well eh?
  9. Corruption? What corruption? It’s quite normal in Africa to tip people at least 20% of the winning tender value as a monthly congratulatory gift!
  10. This is completely unacceptable – I will find out who is ultimately accountable for this mess and heads will roll!

Click HERE to leave YOUR COMMENT on political governance, Angie Motshekga and the Limpopo textbook crisis.

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Related articles on the education in South Africa, corruption and more:

  1. Education and Illiteracy in South Africa
  2. Angie Motshekga news
  3. Outcome Based Education cartoon
  4. Naledi Pandor
  5. Matric Pass Rate in South Africa

Click HERE to leave YOUR COMMENT on Angie Motshekga, government accountability, and the Limpopo textbook crisis.

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  1. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    i.r.o. Angie’s option 5 – How can Juju come out of the woodwork when he never even got into it? – see Matric results
    Option 10 – yes, heads will roll – from side to side when we hear how HERS must stay where it is.

  2. Craig Smith says

    Lol – nice one Wonkie… things seem to be a long way off to improving in terms of accountability in SA 🙁

    @a-maize-ingly-corny – wrt option 10, think the point is that Angie Motshekga is the one that’s ultimately accountable and she’s either too dumb to know it or doesn’t really care because there are no real consequences for ANC members!

  3. this goverment is a disgrace and should be shot with a ball of their own shit.bunch of half wits.

  4. In the anc, NOBODY takes responsibility for their inactions, instead they get an increase and promotion and get “redeployed” so the next sucker can claim that that it didn’t happen on his watch!

  5. Actually the Wonkie article has said it all. Hit all the nails on the head.
    I am at a loss for words at how impotent I feel at the chaos and ruination that is being foisted on us by this corrupt, ineptocratic, kleptocratic hydra called the ANC. Maybe the only way forward is a total boycott on SARS. If we can’t kill it, maybe we can starve it to death ?

  6. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    @ Craig Smith – your point about option 10 was EXACTLY my point

  7. COLLITJIES says

    She will probably only get a light tap on her right wrist which will be followed by a bonus of years supply of KFC family packs just to keep her from bursting into tears. They will not dismiss her as they don’t know of anybody else who can screw up better than her.

  8. what a sorry state our beloved country is in. what a joke we must be internationally! is there any light in this ANC tunnel apart from the light of the gravy train, rumbling towards us, the people on grass root level that have to pay the price for this stupendous mess??

  9. Option 10 will be the answer. It makes you sick, tired and disheartened to see the same old denial, denial, denial whenever anything goes seriously wrong.
    In the meantime these poor children will be the next generation of illiterate, ill-educated and disadvantaged individuals. I am so sorry but what are we going to do. It can’t go on forever because even the most loyal and blind voters will surely get fed up eventually.

  10. What again. The ANC will never lose power while the population are kept ignorant and uneducated. That is unofficial Govt policy.

  11. No doubt, in line with other ‘punishments’ meted out to incompetent officials, Angie will get a promotion, or at least a huge payout and a move to some other position where there is more potential for skimming the cream off tenders.

  12. OutofAfrica says

    “Houtkop” comes to mind!

  13. Being only able to award government tenders to BEE compliant persons and companies is the reason for much of South Africa’s failures. Only local manufacturers or agents should have their tenders accepted. It should only be when a suitable tenderer is unavailable that tenders from all and sundry should be processed and only the lowest tender from the most qualified and competent to deliver tenderer should be accepted.
    Any failure of a tender should be accompanied by the firing of the official that awarded the tender.

  14. As threatened by JZ, the consequences for those responsible for the delay in text book delivery in Limpopo have already been set in motion(“Third text book inquiry”) The consequences, though, are not those to which he refers. “Without books, children struggle to learn, their self-esteem will not grow and their lives are essentially stalled before they have begun. Without skills, there will be no jobs available”-and in case the government missed the point, skills development begins at school, with books.

    Two basic issues do not seem to have been dealt with-during the 1950s 1960s, we seldom got new text books. We usually got used text books recovered from previous years. Here, where we have poor communities, what happened to last years text books? It is a basic supply chain management principle that payment is only due after delivery. Was the supplier still waiting for payment?

    These excessive investigations are a political ploy to hide the dysfunctional basic education system. This is political obfuscation at its best. You can see presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj behind this, pulling the puppet’s strings.

    The ANC regime has mastered deflecting criticism by appointing commissions, inquiries, probes and hearings. It counters further criticism by asking people to wait for a report to be published before they can comment. Then the final coup de grace-it simply refuses to make the confidential report public in the interest of “National Security”.

  15. hmm and all the people part of all the commissions, the enquirers and those doing the probing must be paid. i wonder who they are? family members or friends of the government employees perhaps?

  16. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Ouma adds a little detail to option 9

  17. If one ads all the amounts reported just in the last 6 months of fraud, bribery, parties, destroyed books, plus R8.7bn of wasted expenditure that was tallied up in the 2009/10 audit, one can only describe the ANC and their departments as a bunch of clueless and worthless human beings.

    This is the reason why the current ANC government is trying to gag the press; they, the press, have every right, within the constitution, to publish all the ills and goings on and the figures illustrated above justifies everything good or bad written about them. Freedom of the press is vital. The general public must know what is happening to their taxes and the poor must know why their lot is not getting any better! VOTE WITH YOUR HEADS, FOR GOODNESS SAKE. Let’s change the government for the better!

    The folks who are getting free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying
    for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can
    no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.
    The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and
    the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of
    the free stuff they are already getting!
    Now… The people who are forcing the people to pay for the free stuff have
    told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are
    PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.
    So… The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they
    need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who
    are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the
    free stuff in the first place.
    We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more
    people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.
    Now understand this: all great democracies have committed financial suicide
    somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The
    voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by
    electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in
    exchange for electing them. Thomas Jefferson said it best: “Democracy will
    cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and
    give to those who would not”.
    The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for
    the free stuff. We have one chance to change that at the next election will

    A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!
    “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s
    money.” — Margaret Thatcher

  19. Just about sums it up!


  21. @ Robot,
    The SARS must be efficient because they have to ensure that they pull billions from us to finance other departmental corruption, otherwise there will be no reason for them to be corrupt if there is no money coming in.

  22. You all got it wrong. The ANC is not socialist. It is a bunch of thieves that blames their corruption on whites, all the time they are bringing back a form of apartheid. Robot thinks that the electorate will get rid of the ANC one day, look around you and you will see that we will get something worse.

  23. Wonkie is preaching to the converted …judging from the comment above.
    Is there anybody who has a good word to say for the anc?

  24. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    A good word for the ANC ??? – How about “DISBAND” ???

  25. dork is dead, or the subject is way above his intellect!

  26. well they’re very good at: corruption, lies, passing the buck – you want me to go on???

  27. The problem with the ANC goverment is that if u are not doing your job properly
    they dont fire you instead you are given a better post especialy if you are an ANC cadre

  28. Tarava. There is many people who would say a good word for the ANC. But they are either illiterate or they do not want to embarrass themselves. We could of course ask Mdu or Julius to come out of hiding, if they dare.

  29. Yes maybe there am, but would they not be expressing a terminological inexactitude?

  30. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Oh, Garth! Methinks you are waxing old, old friend. Have you forgotten that Mzu was not only (totally) anti-“white” but also rabidly anti-ANC (most probably an E-Cape PAC man) – and Juli-arse is now only Juli- since the ANC kicked his ‘arse’ out ???

  31. There ll always be excuses if one cannot hold resposible people accountable for their acts. This emanates from receiving tips as mentioned on number 9. Anie Motshekga is a politician who has to see to it that the name of the organisation she serves, is not tarnished. But if she wants to respond to questions as if she is directly involved in the management of the department, we start to ask ourselves whether she is also the DG thereof. Maybe she does not want the DG to state the shocking facts hence she does it herself
    Like the president of the country, I am expecting the minister to abide with number 10 or offer her resignation. She is unlikely to do sthe latter as suspicions will be raised if she resigns.

  32. Corny, I long for the old days.


  1. […] Government Accountability: Limpopo Textbook Crisis […]

  2. […] Motshekga’s publicly proven incompetence when it comes to managing basic education (read the Limpopo textbooks crisis article for more details on the standards for South African government accountability). This is […]

  3. […] Government Accountability in South Africa […]

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