Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bogus salary for Xhosa queen ends

Say it with a sting.....

Zine George
Published: Aug 24, 2008

The wife of Xhosa monarch King Maxhoba Sandile has been identified as a ghost teacher who has drawn a government salary for nearly 20 years without being in class.

Now the Eastern Cape Education Department has angered the Royal House of the amaRharhabe by cancelling Queen Noloyiso Sandile’s pay cheque.

The royals have written to the provincial education MEC Mahlubandile Qwase demanding to know why. Queen Sandile has been registered as a teacher since 1989.

The Royal House’s spokesman, Zolile Burns-Ncamashe, confirmed yesterday that the queen’s salary had been stopped in June.

“We are still discussing this matter with the new MEC (Qwase).”

The education department on Friday put a wall of secrecy around the matter, describing it as “a very sensitive issue.”

Department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani refused to answer questions by the Sunday Times.

But the Sunday Times has established that Queen Sandile’s payment as a ghost teacher began in 1989, following an agreement reached between the king and the then Ciskei president Lennox Sebe.

An investigation by the department into the arrangement has uncovered that when the queen started her “job”, she was offered about R4500 as a gross salary. “Her salary at the end of April/May was way above R12 000 a month,” said an official who declined to be named. When details started to emerge about the queen being remunerated in 2001, Eastern Cape traditional leaders and the traditional affairs department distanced themselves from the matter.

When asked why the queen was entitled to a salary, Burns-Ncamashe said this was an arrangement dating back to the Sebe era.

Commenting on behalf of Qwase, Pulumani said: “At this time the department must regrettably decline to comment on this very sensitive matter.”
Sunday Times



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