Suspended: Dr Nyembezi to take premier to court

2008-03-12 00:00

SUSPENDED head of the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department Dr Busi Nyembezi has vowed to fight to clear her name after allegations of corruption were levelled against her.

This comes after Nyembezi and her attorney, Suren Naidoo, announced that they are taking Premier Sibusiso Ndebele to court after the team failed to provide a report on the investigation into the allegations.

Nyembezi was suspended in October last year after the allegations came to light.

Ndebele then appointed law firm Straus Daly to investigate allegations that Nyembezi was involved in a R15 million-plus tender scam.

“As a professional, the only capital I have is my name. I have worked many years to get that name so I will fight to clear my name,” said Nyembezi at a media briefing.

Naidoo said they decided to call the media briefing after several media houses enquired about Nyembezi’s suspension and after a “defamatory” article appeared in the City Press newspaper.

Naidoo explained the reasons why Nyembezi remained tight-lipped during the suspension.

“From the outset, when the Premier instituted an investigation in September, we made a decision to respect the process and not talk to the media, despite numerous defamatory articles in certain newspapers,” he said.

Naidoo said that, while they co-operated with the investigating team for a speedy resolution, the matter had dragged on and they had no correspondence from Nyembezi’s employer.

He said that numerous letters were sent requesting a copy of the investigating team’s report, but nothing was made available to them.

“Concerned about the lack of progress and uncomfortable about getting paid while staying at home, we wrote to the employer two weeks ago demanding to return to work.”

Naidoo confirmed that he met with Ndebele. “However, what is of great concern is that the day prior to the meeting an article appeared in the City Press, which was manifestly wrong and devoid of any truth,” he said. Naidoo added that the articles were defamatory and that Nyembezi will seek legal recourse from all parties involved.

“The labour relations processes have been flouted by the employer throughout and in our opinion internal processes have failed, which is why we are now going the legal route via the courts,” said Naidoo.

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