SIU man to fight Hofmeyr in court

2010-12-19 12:32

Special Investigating Unit (SIU) deputy head Faiek Davids is fighting his “unlawful” dismissal from President Jacob ­Zuma’s prime corruption-busting agency.

Davids was fired by SIU boss Willie Hofmeyr in the last week of November after having been placed on “special leave” in June last year.

According to a spokesman for the SIU, Davids was dismissed “due to incompatibility and ­because of an irretrievable breakdown in the trust relationship between the parties (Davids and Hofmeyr)”.

City Press previously reported that Hofmeyr was likely to fire ­Davids without holding a disciplinary hearing.

Davids was placed on special leave after he was named in the transcripts of the so-called ­Zuma tapes, which led to corruption charges against the president being dropped.

He was also accused of insubordination and of nepotism in the appointment of employees.

Contained in the transcripts of the Zuma tapes was a voicemail message left by former Scorpions boss Leonard Mc-Carthy on Davids’s cellphone, six days after Zuma was elected as ANC president.

The message was transcribed as: “Davids, uh, McCarthy here, give me a ring please, you send me ’n gevaarlike SMS here just before Christmas. I am Thabo man, I mean we are still wiping the blood from our faces, or egg, or egg and blood from our faces. Saw the man on Friday evening, we planning a comeback strategy. And once we have achieved that, we will clean up all around us my friend. Bye.”

Davids’s attorney has now written to Hofmeyr informing him that his former deputy will challenge “the unlawfulness of his dismissal”.

According to attorney Sonia de Vries, acting on behalf of Davids, his dismissal “is not as simple as it is made out to be by the SIU.

“Our client’s dismissal was both substantively and procedurally unfair, meaning a lack of substantiated allegations and no impartial hearing prior to the predetermined decision by Hofmeyr to dismiss our client.”

Asked why Davids didn’t face a disciplinary hearing, the SIU responded: “Following legal advice, the unit followed the process that was most appropriate under the circumstances.”

Davids was credited with setting up structures to curb social-grant and housing fraud, and headed the SIU in the absence of Hofmeyr, who also leads the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

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