Workers petition for Mannya’s suspension to be lifted

2008-05-08 00:00

A group of workers at the provincial Agriculture Department have threatened to strike if the suspension of the head of the department is not lifted by Friday next week.

The Witness is in possession of a petition signed by over 400 mid- and lower-level employees, which was allegedly sent to Premier S’bu Ndebele and Agriculture MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu last month.

The petitioners are calling for Ndebele to lift the suspension of advocate Modidima Mannya, who was suspended in February pending a disciplinary hearing into alleged misconduct.

It was alleged at the time that some staff at the department were unhappy with Mannya’s management style.

However, the workers calling for his reinstatement have denied this.

"We the staff at the floor level have never experienced that [unhappiness] with the head of department. For the first time in the history of the department, the staff … had their voice heard," reads the petition in part.

Agriculture spokesman Mbulelo Baloyi said the department has not seen the petition.

He added that management has been approached by some of the staff who alleged that they were coerced into signing the petition. "They named a particular employee as the instigator," Baloyi said.

The Witness understands that the acting HoD, Siddiq Adam, wrote to the alleged instigator instructing him to give a written motivation on why he should not be suspended in light of the allegations. The employee made his submission on Tuesday.

Baloyi said Adam is still studying the submission.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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