Mpumalanga education head axed

Mpumalanga education department head Mahlasedi Mhlabane has been fired.

This follows an internal investigation by the integrity unit in the Mpumalanga premier's office.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane confirmed on Tuesday that Mhlabane's contract had been suspended and would not be renewed.

The investigation found that Mhlabane lied to the provincial government by changing figures in the department's annual report, and that she might be involved in corruption and maladministration.

Read: Mpumalanga education head suspended for allegedly altering figures in annual report

Two of the main issues related to the school nutrition scheme and the supply of textbooks to pupils.

The province is facing a R100m lawsuit from nine companies after Mhlabane apparently decided to award the contracts to 17 companies that weren't in the running for the tenders.

Evidence against her included a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) finding after Mhlabane stated in her 2017 annual report that 63% of pupils received textbooks. The SAHRC found that only 36% received study material. 

Mhlabane was suspended in March while investigations were under way.