Suspended official paid for doing nothing

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jun 30, 2005

Share this article:

Outrage has been expressed at the revelation that a top Tshwane Metro Council official, who was suspended from duty in March, is still being paid his full salary of about R60 000 a month.

Advocate Ben Shai, strategic executive officer of corporate services at the council, was suspended and faces disciplinary action. The council refuses to divulge the reasons for Shai's suspension, except to say it relates to his work performance.

Now the Democratic Alliance has called for a speedy resolution to the disciplinary proceedings against Shai. DA councillor Elmarie Linde said the party agreed that disciplinary action had to be taken against personnel who did not comply with their work requirements or those who did not perform according to their contract.

"But we cannot accept that personnel are suspended for several months while the disciplinary process stalls due to administrative red tape," said Linde. She said Shai -­ who has been on suspension with full pay since March -­ receives a salary package of about R60 000 per month, while he has not done a stitch of work.

"Advocate Shai received a performance bonus at the end of December last year, only to learn a few months later that this does not comply with his performance contract," said Linde.

According to a report submitted to the council earlier this month, municipal manager Blake Mosley-Lefatola identified a few challenges in the institution soon after he took over last year.

Some of the challenges emanated from the corporate services division and Mosley-Lefatola informed Shai about them. The report stated that the former chief operating officer (COO) took over the responsibility of the division at the beginning of the 2004/2005 financial year.

It further stated that the COO, together with Mosley-Lefatola, continued to speak to Shai about these challenges which they said could not be ignored.

"It had become evident that the identified challenges were unfortunately not getting addressed," the report stated.

Mosley-Lefatola instituted disciplinary action against Shai. Shai declined to comment on the issue on Wednesday while Mosley-Lefatola could not be reached.

Share this article: