Curb wasteful legal spending, Mashatile told
Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has called on Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile to put in place procedures to stop wasteful legal spending by his department.
In a statement on Friday, DA arts and culture spokesperson Annelie Lotriet said the party had noted with dismay that the Pan South African Languages Board (PanSALB) had spent R5.4m in legal fees to dismiss its former CEO, Ntombenhle Nkosi.
This total was revealed in a written reply by the minister to a parliamentary question.
"PanSALB had paid Nkosi R1 896 206 while on suspension since February 20 2009, and also paid R5 471 829 in legal bills to cover the costs of the trial. The minister noted in a handwritten comment, 'It is unacceptable to spend so much on legal fees for such cases'.
"The DA agrees completely and calls on the minister to institute procedures in the arts and culture entities that curb abuses of paid suspensions, and reduce the costs and time necessary for reaching a legal conclusion to disciplinary matters," Lotriet said.
Nkosi had been charged with 14 counts of misconduct.
"She was suspended over two years ago on full pay, was found guilty of misconduct in an independent forensic investigation, then more recently found guilty through formal court proceedings. She was finally dismissed, six months after the court decision, on June 29 [this year]."
Lotriet said the DA would write to Mashatile "to urge him to implement the necessary procedures that would make such wasteful legal expenditure impossible in the future".