Axed KZN Health official goes to court

2015-05-08 09:38
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THE axed KZN Health Department’s chief financial officer, Brian Ndoda Biyela, has lodged an urgent application in the Pietermaritzburg high court effectively asking to be reinstated. He also wants to have his salary paid pending the finalisation of his dispute with the authorities.

The application was opposed, but lawyers for the Health authorities said they needed time to prepare a comprehensive response.

Judge Gregory Kruger did not grant an order yesterday, but indicated that he will ensure the case is heard before the end of this month, bearing in mind the prejudice to Biyela, who is not receiving a salary in the meantime.

Biyela asked the court for an order allowing him free access to his offices in the KZN Health Department, to be allowed to fulfil his duties as CFO, and to be paid his salary.

He maintains he was still an employee of the Gauteng Health Department when he was transferred to KZN on January 29.

His transfer was effective from February 2.

However, in a preliminary answering affidavit, the acting head of department in KZN, Millicent Simelane, denied this.

She maintains Biyela was no longer employed by Gauteng Health Department when he was transferred to KZN, because he had resigned on November 19 last year “with immediate effect”.

This was in terms of a settlement agreement reached when he faced a disciplinary inquiry for “serious charges … involving financial impropriety”, she said.

Simelane said in terms of the ­Public Service Act, his transfer was therefore “null and void”.

She also said Biyela’s appointment as CFO was highly inappropriate in view of disciplinary charges he had faced in Gauteng.

“The position of CFO requires a high standard of probity and it was wrong to appoint the applicant ­[Biyela] in view of the allegations against him which caused him to resign,” she said.

Simelane said the decision to declare Biyela’s transfer null and void was taken on April 28 and communicated to him by letter and effected, and his employment with KZN-DOH was terminated, so the court therefore cannot grant the order he is asking for.

In his affidavit Biyela said following elections in Gauteng in 2014 the new provincial administration in that province had embarked on “large scale purging” of senior management including his own “unlawful suspension as CFO”.

He maintains that he remained an employee of the Gauteng department until January 31, 2015

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