Ex-boss a step closer to R9m

2010-08-01 11:01

Former SA Post Office (Sapo) chief executive Khutso Mampeule is one step closer to walking away from the parastatal with a R9-million golden handshake.

More than three years after his ousting, Mampeule confirmed on Friday that his claim included compensation for the remainder of his five-year contract, which could be more than R9 million.

Sapo’s appeal to the Labour Appeal Court was dismissed in June, paving the way for ­Mampeule to claim his annual salary of more than R3 million for the remainder of his contract.

Sapo has now requested leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The parastatal had wanted the Labour Appeal Court to declare that Mampeule’s “removal as ­director and the subsequent ­automatic termination of his ­employment contract did not constitute dismissal”.

“My plan is to continue with my action against Sapo once their petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal has been dealt with,” he said.

Mampeule was chief executive from June 2005 until May 2007, when then communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri fired him. Sapo described this as an “automatic termination”.

He was fired after approaching the North Gauteng High Court to order Matsepe-Casaburri to grant him access to a forensic ­report on corporate governance breaches at Sapo.

The Labour Court later found, in December, that Sapo’s “automatic termination” was invalid and that it contradicted provisions of the Labour Relations Act.

Mampeule said: “Sapo ­appealed the fact of whether I was dismissed or not, and this has been ruled twice in my favour (plus costs).”

He was appointed as both an executive director and chief ­executive.

He said the courts’ ­rulings were that he had been ­unfairly dismissed after his fight against poor corporate governance and corruption at Sapo.

In its 2006 annual report ­Sapo said Mampeule had retired.

Mampeule’s arrival at Sapo caused a stir because Tsukudu ­Associates, a company owned by then non-executive director and later chairperson Phuti Tsukudu, was paid R114 000 for the­ ­appointment.

Mampeule said that “fruitless and wasteful expenditure” continued, but he was determined to fight to the bitter end.

When asked for comment, spokesperson Lungile Lose said it would be best for Sapo to make its points in court and not through the press.

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