Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the 44-year-old man was charged with malicious damage to property.
"The school textbooks were found dumped in the Giyani area during the weekend of 29 June to 1 July. The books were mathematics for Grade 8 and numeracy in Sepedi for Grade 3," he said.
The man would appear in the Giyani Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Mulaudzi said the arrest would not affect the charges laid by the Democratic Alliance against the department and a contractor over the books.
"We are still following the investigation into the books, and are still trying to link more people to this case."
A charge was laid against the department for vandalism and destruction of books in Seshego. Another was against a service provider who allegedly dumped the textbooks in Giyani.
Text books were found dumped and destroyed while schools in the province had gone without books for seven months.
After news of the dumping emerged, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga called for the culprits to be arrested.
"We feel this is now an act of sabotage, and we call upon the police to arrest these culprits without further delay," she said in a statement.
Motshekga said a team was sent to the province to investigate the service providers, and to lay charges against them where appropriate.
These books were not part of the court order to deliver text books to schools in the province by 27 June, she said.