Suspended PSA union leaders fight back, threaten to sue
On Tuesday last week, PSA board members took a decision to place its general manager Ivan Fredericks; his deputy Tahir Maepa and labour relations officer Thami Makhuzeni on suspension pending an outcome of an internal forensic investigation.
Announcing the board decision, PSA president Lufuno Mulaudzi said their decision came in the wake of a Labour Court judgment in favour of the recently elected PSA board after three of its structures’ chairpersons challenged the outcome of the elective congress held in September last year.“In remaining steadfast to the values of accountability, transparency and good governance, the PSA board met on December 11 to initiate an independent investigation into the alleged irregular appointment of a legal firm by PSA that represented three of its structures/chairperson at the Labour Court.
“This precautionary suspension is in no way an implication of guilt on the part of the suspended employees but to allow for this investigation to be conducted in an environment which is free from interference and/or possibility of evidence being withheld or tampered with,” Mulaudzi said.
On Sunday, however, three suspended leaders served Mulaudzi with a letter of demand in which they wanted to be reinstated to their jobs.
A letter written by their attorney - Mickey Mfenyana of Mfenyana Attorneys Inc - read: “None of our clients were party to the litigation in which the law firm (name withheld) is alleged to have been irregularly appointed. None of the PSA financial resources were utilised to the benefit of the law firm by our clients in the litigation. The law firm has had no working relationship with the PSA since 2018 to date. In essence, the said litigation has nothing whatsoever to do with our clients.” She said the suspension of the three was “inconsistent with the principles of natural justice and as contained in the disciplinary code of the PSA”.
She gave the PSA until Monday to reinstate her clients but Mulaudzi rejected their request, saying: “They are free to go to court and we will defend our decision there.”