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Review application of reinstatement of Sam Vukela to be heard next week

Sam Vukela Picture: Handout/Supplied

Sam Vukela Picture: Handout/Supplied

Published Jun 7, 2022

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Cape Town - The review application by the Presidency to overturn the reinstatement of suspended Public Works and Infrastructure director-general Sam Vukela will be heard in the Labour Court next week.

“The matter has been set for June 14 where we will put our case at the Labour Court,” head of legal services Geoffrey Mphaphuli said on Tuesday.

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Mphaphuli was briefing the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Vukela’s suspension.

Vukela was suspended in July 2020 in connection with awarding contracts for state funerals and the controversial Beitbridge border post.

However, he challenged his suspension in the General Public Service Sector bargaining Council (GPSSBC).

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In April, the GPSSBC ordered Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele and Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille to lift the suspension of Vukela after he was suspended for more than the prescribed 60-day period.

Gungubele subsequently filed papers to review and set aside the award.

According to Mphaphuli, the council ordered Vukela’s reinstatement and that he be charged while at work.

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He said Gungubele challenged the award taking into consideration the seriousness of the charges levelled against him.

Briefing the committee, Gungubele said: “Given the award to the director-general to come back to work, we applied not to proceed for a number of reasons.”

Mphaphuli said the reasons Gungubele lodged the application in the Labour Court was that the arbitration award did not take into account the investigation.

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“It was more about procedural matters,” he said.

He acknowledged that the suspension had been too long and that the council had concluded that the disciplinary proceeding chairperson had no basis not to continue with the hearing.

“All the legal issues are to be ventilated there,” he said in reference to the court date next week.

Asked about lessons learnt from the handling of the Vukela suspension and disciplinary hearing, Gungubele said he has been fully briefed about the matter.

“I think I have not been disappointed by the work so far,” he said.

Cape Times

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