Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will launch an official investigation into allegations that members of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) are selling posts.
"I view these reports in a very serious light. The department will not hesitate to institute criminal charges against those found to be part of, what I believe, are attempts to undermine the hard work that the department is doing in ensuring the quality of teaching," said Minister Motshekga on Friday.
Next week, the minister will announce the names of the investigating team as well as their terms of reference.
The President's office has been informed of the minister's intention to launch the official probe.
The investigation comes after allegations that individuals in various provinces were involved in selling posts for cash, while in some instances it's alleged that some school principals are intimidated and forcefully removed from their posts to be replaced by those who paid sums of up to R30 000.
The department said that from initial reports it seems as though there are syndicates operating in the system that include school governing body members, district officials, principals themselves and Sadtu members.
"The investigation would seek to uncover the extent of the practice with a view to taking disciplinary and criminal action against those found to be involved."
Moshesh High School
The minister has also noted with concern the on-going challenges facing learners and the community around Moshesh High School in the Eastern Cape.
The minister has since instructed the MEC to immediately resolve the issues plaguing the school, and directed the acting Director General Panyaza Lesufi to follow up on the matter.
According to media reports, the school in 2012 was challenged with teachers coming to school drunk and an absent principal, among others.
"It's unacceptable that learners still have to face such problems in order to get an education. What is happening to them and the community of Queen's Mercy Village is unfortunate and an urgent solution needs to be found without any further delays," said the minister.