The head of Mpumalanga education department has been suspended, according to News24.

Mahlasedi Mhlabane is accused of  altering figures in the department’s annual report.

According to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), certain percentages are altered, for instance the 63% stated as the number of learners who received study material, as opposed to the actual figure which should be 36%.

The SAHRC was acting on a complaint by Jane Sithole, the leader of the DA in the province.

“As part of the SAHRC investigation, they visited a number of schools all over the province. It was established that around 680 000 scholars are still without learner support material,” Sithole said.

“The department urgently needs to tell us why they have left Mpumalanga learners to fend for themselves despite the education department getting one of the biggest shares of the provincial budget.”

The findings by SAHRC show that the Mpumalanga education department had violated section 29 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to basic education.

The department had been given until March 12 to explain and rectify the situation. Mhlabane however reportedly ignored these instructions.

It was last week, while on a visit to Russia, that Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni suspended Mhlabane. An investigation has since been opened by the integrity unit in the office of the premier.

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