Monday, March 4, 2024

Technocrat under radar of DIS over IAS flying academy woes

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) is demanding answers from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tertiary Education Research, Science and Technology, Theophilus Mooko to explain botched sponsorship of Botswana Piloting students in South Africa.

The office of Ombudsman has also joined forces to investigate Director of Department of Tertiary Education and Financing Josphia Ntshinogang as evidenced by a letter dated 28 November 2019.

This development comes after the Ministry of Tertiary Education took a decision to freeze sponsorship of students who were placed at International Aviation Solution (IAS) and allegedly transferred them to SA flying schools at a high cost.

A whistle blower, closer to the findings of a report which has formed part of the investigations shows that Mooko, The Botswana Qualification Authority Acting CEO Selebo Jobe and the Department of Tertiary Education and Financing Director Josphia Ntshinogang are at the centre of the DIS investigations.

The Sunday Standard, can in good authority, reveal that the DIS is currently investigating BQA. To that effect, the deputy CEO Jobe and one Sandry Pabalinga have already appeared before the task team.

Last week DIS interrogated DTEF official being DTEF-Deputy Director, Tumisang Baleki and Chief education Officer (Monitoring and Evaluation) Tshwaragano Motlogelwa who are alleged to be the kingpins in sabotaging IAS academy.

The whistle blower says the new boss was put in the dark by her is deputy on an advice from the BQA to the DTEF to transfer students from IAS academy to SA.

“Ever since the presence of the DIS at the BQA buildings, we have witness meetings after meeting since Monday last week and there was also a Board meeting which was convene as an emergency same week to discuss amongst others the DIS investigations, said the whistle blower

The whistle blower who was present during the investigations says the acting CEO was at pain to explain the circumstances that led to the near collapse of IAS.

“She was grilled by the DIS officials and on numerous occasion the then Acting CEO failed to answer why they failed to monitor the flying academy with proper action been taken to resolve and protect the Education system by way of assisting students intending to do piloting at IAS, said the whistle blower

In letter dated 04th September 2019 which was addressed to The Director General of Intelligence and Security titled: Urgent Request for Intervention on abuse of office by MoTE and DTEF leading to the collapse of International Aviation Solutions (IAS) and resultant of Job Losses has formed part of the investigations of both parties.

An insider at DTEF says the management is currently angry at how the SA report was leaked to the media and an internal investigations on some staff members is ongoing in trying to piece together who might be the culprit.

The DTEF official known to this publication, did confirm that DCEC and DIS are their “resident clients” as they do routine investigation at DTEF because it is where sponsorship and financials affecting students countrywide are managed.

The Sunday Standard investigations can reveal that the DIS issued an instruction to stop the DTEF from placing students in SA, following a tipoff that some DTEF officials may be into some corrupt practice with some SA flying schools against locals ones.

This has angered some piloting students who were already on their flying mood to SA because former Minister Thapelo Olopeng early October 2019 announced that the students be transferred to SA while IAS is still under Judicial Management.

The Ministry of Tertiary Education is now reeling from an online petition posted by International Aviation Solution (IAS) students who have accused government and former Minister Thapelo Olopeng of reneging on a promise to transfer them to South African flying academies.

The matter has once again sparked even more suspicion that the near collapse of the IAS was a result of sabotage by the Ministry through its agencies – The Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF) and the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA).

In the petition, the students fault DTEF Director Josephia Ntshinogang and Permanent Secretary Dr. Theophilus Mooko for neglecting them and failing to take action to address their plight.

The IAS legal advisor, Oliver Modise, confirmed the school is under judicial management and that they have a court case with the DTEF since they believe the Ministry owes them P18 million for extra hours incurred by students.

The IAS owner, Teezzarh Seduke refused to comment saying they are in talks with government and that he did not want to prejudice any process.


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