Land Affairs workers demand to be addressed on rumours of reinstatement of suspended manager

2009-02-26 00:00

Workers at the land claims office in Pietermaritzburg stopped work yesterday and demanded to be addressed by management on the outcome of an investigation into issues including alleged abuse of power by suspended regional commissioner Siduduzile Mayo Sosibo.

The workers also claimed that a rumour has been circulating at the local land claims office that Sosibo has been representing the office in presentations in Pretoria and will be reinstated as KZN commissioner.

Regional secretary for the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), Khaye Nkwanyana, said that the workers brought the rumours and the demands for the release of the report on the outcome of the investigation to the union’s attention. Subsequently a letter calling for a senior manager at the national land claims office to address the workers’ concerns was sent.

“The concerns of the workers are genuine. We signed a memorandum of understanding last year with land claims calling for Sosibo to go and that she should be investigated and then we hear that she is still representing the office. This is in breach of the memorandum,” said Nkwa- nyana.

He said the workers were well within their rights to demand the outcome of the investigation by the Land Affairs Department that included alleged abuse of power, poor performance on the part of Sosibo and favouritism.

The workers told The Witness yesterday that they will be going back to work today after being addressed by acting chief land claims commissioner, Blessing Mphela.

The Witness learnt that Mphela told the workers that the report on the outcome of the investigation will be discussed on Monday next week and a meeting will be scheduled afterwards with the workers about the findings.

However, the workers said the topic of Sosibo’s rumoured reinstatement and whether or not she was still representing the local office were not discussed.

Attempts to get comment from the national land claims office were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

Sosibo was also accused of bungling land claims. She came under fire in recent months after the KZN Growth Coalition sent Premier S’bu Ndebele a dossier containing 21 claims that she allegedly stalled. The dossier also alleged that Sosibo cancelled meetings and did not answer correspondence. It further cited her alleged “obstructive behaviour”.

thandom@witness.co.za

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