Rooting out double parking

2016-09-18 08:24
Premier Stanley Mathabatha Picture: Leon Sadiki

Premier Stanley Mathabatha Picture: Leon Sadiki

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The premier’s office in Limpopo has been fighting several cases in the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) involving the appointment of people to positions that are occupied in a bid to force the incumbent to leave.

Already the premier’s office has lost two cases, after being ordered to backpay two people for the time they could have been in the posts for which they were recommended.

In one instance, the CCMA ordered that the salary amount accompanying the position the aggrieved employee had applied for, be paid in full.

Norman Mavhunga, the branch chairperson of trade union Nehawu in the premier’s office, said he was one such victim. After successfully lodging a dispute, he is now “earning the salary of a senior manager” yet still doing the work of a manager.

Mavhunga had evidence that he was given the highest score in an interview for the senior manager post. However, the accounting officer decided to disregard the interview panel’s recommendations and appointed someone else.

“After seeking relief, I had to be paid for all the months from the time I could have been appointed,” he said.

“They also had to promote me in terms of salary level. In the end this serves as an indication that people are allowed to do things that cost the state – and this is not the only case,” Mavhunga added.

In another case, Zenzile Chibi discovered that she was given the highest score in an interview for the manager’s position in the premier’s office.

However, someone else got the position despite the panel’s recommendations.

The premier’s office also lost this case and Chibi had to be backpaid for all the time she could have been promoted. In addition, her salary was increased to the same level of the position in question.

Limpopo government spokesperson Phuti Seloba said Premier Stanley Mathabatha “was persuaded by the legal opinion that [Mavhunga’s] case was not winnable” after seeking legal advice on all pending cases.

“Mavhunga was compensated accordingly ... and he is currently doing the job of a senior manager in an acting capacity since the position is vacant,” he explained.

Regarding Chibi’s case, Seloba said the former director-general (Rachel Molepo-Modipa) was not in agreement with the recommendations of the panel.

This resulted in her suspension and, subsequently, a conviction on one charge. Molepo-Modipa was then fired on charges of maladministration and misconduct over various cases.

Seloba dismissed allegations that the human resources system in the premier’s office had collapsed, saying they were exaggerated. “It is our commitment as government that our officials are responsible for their actions – or lack of action.”

There were at least three similar cases in the province which were still pending.

Mavhunga said there could be more cases of people who were overlooked for appointments and never took steps to query this, adding that people were beginning to take the initiative and request score sheets and the panel’s recommendations from their interviews to lodge disputes.

Read more on:    ccma  |  stanley mathabatha

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