‘Sad reality is that our courts are liberal’

2011-08-01 14:27

The R5.4 million spent on legal fees for the dismissal of its chief executive was justified, the Pan SA Language Board (PanSALB) said.

“The sad reality is that our courts are liberal and there is not much PanSALB as institution can do to stop people from exercising their rights as enshrined in the constitution,” PanSALB chairman Elias Malete said in a statement.

He was responding to claims made by DA arts and culture spokesperson Annelie Lotriet that the amount paid to dismiss former CEO Ntombenhle Nkosi was “wasteful” and “unacceptable”.

“Perhaps the DA should call for the reassessment of our labour laws to prevent such issues from recurring as we are not the only institution with this problem,” he said.

Nkosi was suspended in 2009 after independent forensic investigators recommended she be charged with misconduct.

Fourteen charges, including the contravention of Treasury regulation and financial misconduct were brought against her.

She was found guilty on June 8, and was dismissed on June 24.

Malete said the board was forced by a labour court ruling to pay Nkosi’s salary during her suspension.

It tried to buy her out of the remainder of her contract, but could not match her demands.

“Had we not acted on this and allowed Mrs Nkosi to continue with her employment or settled for the R80 million she was demanding, I am convinced that the DA would have complained as well.

“It is also important to note that this amount of R5.4 million might even go up as Mrs Nkosi is appealing the decision,” he said.

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