Eastern Cape official 'fired for theft' of abalone, hired in better-ranked position – report

2019-12-05 12:42
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A deputy director general (DDG) who received a dismissal letter last week after she was found guilty in internal proceedings of the theft of R7m worth of abalone, has been hired as the head of a different department, according to a report.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Siphokazi Ndudane, the former DDG of the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, would be the head of the Eastern Cape rural development and agrarian reform department a mere five days after she was found guilty in departmental proceedings, TimesLIVE reported.

It was reported that Ndudane denied any wrongdoing even though director general Mike Mlengana signed a letter stating that the government resolved to fire her after the four-day disciplinary hearing.

The publication reported that it had seen a dismissal letter on November 29 after she was found guilty of stealing three tons of abalone.

The letter reportedly stated that Ndudane stole the abalone from the department's stores in Paarden Eiland in December 2017 or January 2018.

Ndudane, however, denied that she ever stole the abalone, saying the allegations were defamatory and that the director general could not establish facts until a National Prosecuting Authority investigation into the matter was concluded, it was reported.

She apparently also scoffed at her dismissal letter saying she had already resigned two weeks before, on November 12.

The publication said she threatened legal action against Mlengana and the department.

The publication also reported that she did not declare her dismissal to the Eastern Cape government, because she only received a confirmation email about her dismissal after she had been appointed in the new role.

Ndudane apparently declared her suspension to the appointment panel voluntarily.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane's spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said she also defended the allegations against her, TimesLIVE reported.

Sicwetsha said the panel saw no reason to not consider her.

- Compiled by Kaveel Singh

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