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The 54-year-old Gauteng father who accused Housing and Local Government MEC Humphrey Mmemezi of corruption is going to have to spill the beans before a labour disciplinary body.
This comes after the labour court on Friday upheld the Mogale City municipality’s application to review the reinstatement of Norman Mopitseng as the council’s labour relations officer.
Mopitseng was fired in February 2010, after Mmemezi – then the municipality’s human resources manager – testified in an internal disciplinary hearing that Mopitseng pocketed payments from several job seekers after promising to get them jobs.
Mmemezi’s allegations were at the time corroborated by Goduka Jezi, a messenger.
Mmemezi testified that Mopitseng had instructed Jezi to collect money from people who wanted to secure jobs in the municipality. He produced a list of names of people who paid Jezi, claiming that the money ended up with Mopitseng.
The testimonies of both Mmemezi and Jezi were used as evidence against Mopitseng, who was then fired. A month later, Jezi was also fired by the municipality. There was no formal hearing, and the 54-year-old father was summarily dismissed.
Jezi, furious at having been axed, approached the police on November 24, 2010. He made an affidavit implicating Mmemezi in the corruption. The Star is in possession of Jezi’s affidavit. The document appears to exonerate Mopitseng.
In his affidavit, Jezi presents himself as an “illiterate man who was coerced into lying and misrepresenting facts”.
He told the police: “I did not perform the alleged acts of misconduct. I was instructed by Mr Humphrey Mmemezi to falsely implicate Norman Mopitseng. I am the breadwinner in my family. The (bargaining) council is currently the only forum to hear the correct version.”
Jezi reiterated the same version to The Star last month.
He said Mmemezi offered to pay him R290 000 if he testified against Mopitseng.
Jezi also lodged an appeal against his dismissal. He told the municipality in his appeal application that he agreed to testify against Mopitseng after Mmemezi offered to look after him and his family.
The Star has seen his initial appeal document linking Mmemezi to the alleged corruption.
When Jezi’s allegations came to light, Mopitseng approached the bargaining council to overturn his dismissal. The bargaining council heard evidence from Maria Jezi – the expelled messenger’s wife – that Mmemezi came to their house and asked her family to testify against Mopitseng.
Maria also testified that Mmemezi told them to testify that they gave Mopitseng money to secure jobs for their children. This led to the bargaining council ordering Mopitseng’s reinstatement.
The municipality then applied to the labour court to review the bargaining council’s ruling on Mopitseng’s reinstatement, arguing that the bargaining council had not heard the evidence of Jezi.
The municipality stated that if Jezi had been called as a witness in the bargaining council proceedings, a different verdict would have been made.
The labour court on Friday granted the municipality the review.
The matter between Mogale City and Mopitseng will be referred back to the municipality. Jezi will now have to be called as a witness.
Mogale City spokesman Nkosana Zali was happy with the court’s decision
Mopitseng is expected to approach the bargaining council to re-hear his matter again.