Third textbook inquiry
President Jacob Zuma has entered the Limpopo textbook scandal by appointing a high-level ministerial task team to investigate the non-delivery and destruction of learning materials.
The announcement of the task team comes with a warning that those responsible for the debacle will be "held accountable".
The team, headed by Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, brings to three the number of task teams investigating the textbook scandal.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga earlier ordered a probe by former Gauteng education MEC Mary Metcalfe. Limpopo has also set up its own task team.
The DA, however, wants all investigations to be thorough and credible, with MP Annette Lovemore saying they should be completed soon to ensure textbooks are delivered on time for the next academic year.
"The teams established to investigate the textbook crisis must identify the causes of the debacle and [this must] not be allowed to degenerate into an exercise of shifting blame to save political face," she said.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said no time frame was given for the team to complete the investigation, but that it would be conducted with "great urgency". He said Zuma wanted answers on what caused delays and recommendations to prevent recurrences.
"The president has directed that all who are found to have played a role in delaying or stopping the delivery of books should be held accountable."
The textbook saga - which Justice Minister Jeff Radebe last week described as a national "shame" - has seen thousands of books, including a biography of former president Nelson Mandela and William Shakespeare's Macbeth, being destroyed.
Pupils in the province went without textbooks for the past six months.
The Department of Basic Education scrambled to meet a deadline to deliver textbooks last week following an interdict after a court application brought by non-governmental organisation Section 27 to supply all Limpopo schools with books by Wednesday last week.
Limpopo government spokesman Tebatso Mabitsela said its team was set up by the provincial executive committee on Tuesday.
"The committee saw it fit to establish a provincial task team led by director-general Rachel Modipa to investigate the problems."
Mabitsela said the team's terms of reference were still being formulated. - Additional reporting by Sapa