Axed Public Protector senior executive Basani Baloyi to challenge dismissal in court

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Jan Gerber, News24)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Jan Gerber, News24)

The former chief operating officer (COO) of Public Protector South Africa (PPSA), Basani Baloyi, will challenge her dismissal in court, according to her attorney Eric Mabuza.

Speaking to News24, Mabuza said they would be lodging papers in court soon.

"We are challenging [the matter] in court, it is completely unlawful," he added.

Last month, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane dismissed Baloyi, along with three other senior officials.

In a letter penned by the Public Protector's chief executive, Vussy Mahlangu, which News24 has seen, Baloyi was deemed unsuitable for the position of chief operating officer, lacking the required skills and conduct, News24 reported.

Mahlangu said in the letter that the Public Protector could not employ Baloyi on a permanent basis, adding that if she wished to appeal the decision, she should do so directly to Mkhwebane.

Termination letter a 'nullity'

In another letter to the PPSA, dated October 28, Mabuza, on behalf of Baloyi, said she would not be appealing the decision.

"We are instructed to inform you, as we hereby do, that our client will not be appealing the decision or making representations in respect of the letter to you inter alia due to the fact that the CEO lacked the authority to terminate her contract of employment. The termination letter is accordingly a nullity and is of no force and effect."

He added: "Accordingly, our client cannot be expected to appeal or make representations on something which is a nullity."

Mabuza also instructed the Public Protector to retract the termination and reinstate Baloyi before October 29 – a day before her last day at work.

He told News24 the dismissal was unlawful, and the reason for this would be stipulated in court papers once it had been finalised.

The Office of Public Protector said it would not comment on the matter.


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