‘Hofmeyr knows I didn’t steal’

2011-08-08 10:56

Axed senior Special Investigating Unit (SIU) official Mizeria Nyathi has hit back at the unit’s boss Willie Hofmeyr, who fired her last week, accusing the corruption-buster of making “clumsy allegations” against her.

Nyathi, who was fired last Wednesday for refusing to undergo a lie detector test, said she was not the author of the contentious dossier on racism at the SIU.

Nyathi, the unit’s former head of shared services, was initially suspended in April after the leaking of a document calling for Hofmeyr to resign and detailing his alleged failure to deal with racism at the SIU.

“Hofmeyr has in his possession the written affidavits by the authors of the document, taking ownership of the document,” Nyathi said.

She took the SIU to the labour court last month to stop the unit from dismissing her but lost the case.

However, the court ordered Hofmeyr to reinstate Nyathi and allow her to return to work.

Nyathi, a National Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) member, was initially charged with acts of misconduct, which include conflict of interest, breach of fiduciary duty, disclosure of the SIU’s confidential or privileged information and submitting irregular claims for special allowances.

“Hofmeyr knows I didn’t steal or claim a cent irregularly from the SIU,” she said.

After the labour court judgment on July 22, she was asked to give the SIU time to consider the ruling but was fired before her scheduled August 12 return.

“I’ve refused to be subjected to a lie detector. I’ll still refuse to take one, especially under the SIU leadership, even if I was promised my job back,” she said.

SIU spokesperson Marika Muller said the unit did not require staff to undergo lie-detector tests but was obliged by the trust placed in it to ensure it can do its work without fear or favour.

Muller said the SIU has investigated all concerns raised by Nehawu in its formal meetings with the union.

“This does not mean there are not some disgruntled union members but a distinction should be drawn between Nehawu and individual Nehawu members who appear to be the origin of many of the complaints,” she said.

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