Court battle: Umndoni traffic officer countersues superintendent Speed cops’ spat resumes

2012-06-05 00:00

AN Umndoni traffic officer and superintendent with a history of taking one another on in the courts are suing each other for thousands of rands — despite “getting along fine and even speaking properly to one another”.

Superintendent Kevin Govender is suing Alice Naidoo for R600 000, and she has responded with a claim of around half a million rands against her boss.

She told The Witness that receiving his summons had thrown her life into disarray for a second time.

In October 2010 Govender was found not guilty and acquitted of criminal charges that Naidoo had brought against him in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court.

He was, however, found guilty of misconduct by Umdoni Municipality at the conclusion of an internal inquiry in March the same year.

Sources in the municipality and the Traffic Training College told The Witness that Govender’s position was questionable.

“If a traffic officer is away from work for more than a period of a year they have to go for an evaluation when they return to work, which he [Govender] did not go for.”

Govender was suspended from work for 17 months between 2009 and 2010.

“He was charged with dishonesty yet he is heading up that very same department where he committed the crime,” the source said

Govender declined to comment on these allegations while there are legal proceedings.

The Witness could not reach his lawyer, Peter Naicker, for comment.

Umdoni Municipality was contacted on Thursday last week for comment on Govender’s employment, but is yet to respond to these queries.

Naidoo said: “I was shocked when I received the summons. I thought that everything was resolved in 2010 and all ill feelings were put aside.”

In May 2009 Naidoo accused Govender of assault after an altercation between them occurred during a meeting.

In June that year Govender was suspended from Umdoni Municipality while an internal disciplinary inquiry was being being held. At the time Naidoo instituted criminal charges against him.

He was found guilty of misconduct by Umdoni Municipality and duly suspended until October 2010, when he returned to work. Also around that time he was cleared of the criminal charges.

Naidoo said there was no logic in the new lawsuit; Govender had stated that he had suffered great humiliation and embarrassment yet he was starting the entire process again.

“I overcame my personal fear and continued to work under his supervision and followed whatever orders he gave me,” said Naidoo. “We were getting along fine and even speaking properly to one another.

“I am afraid of what could happen next if we are in the same room.”

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