Previn Govender. Picture: Supplied
Previn Govender. Picture: Supplied

Council to decide fate of Tshwane Emergency Services head Previn Govender

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jan 28, 2021

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Pretoria - The fate of Tshwane Emergency Services head Previn Govender will be decided when the report of the Public Protector into his irregular appointment is tabled before council.

This was according to the chief of staff in the metro Jordan Griffiths, who said the council would review the report and engage on the recommendations, which included setting aside his appointment.

Griffiths was reacting to a call by the SA Municipal Workers Union for the senior official recently implicated in sexual harassment allegations to be probed for his alleged role in the irregular appointment of Govender.

“The initiation of investigations into alleged misconduct by section 56 managers is governed by legislation and the final decision on these matters sits firmly with the council. Once the report has been tabled, the council will then decide on what action they feel is necessary in this regard," he said.

In a letter leaked to the Pretoria News, the union stated that it wanted the senior manager to be investigated with a view to protect the integrity of the department under him.

Griffiths said the mayor’s office had not yet received the letter.

The union accused the senior manager of previously rubbishing its stance on Govender’s appointment “and other credible institutions’ assertion that Mr Govender’s qualifications were not equivalent to a junior degree”.

It said the senior manager occupied a critical position and was supposed to be the epitome of ethics and integrity, adding that he had fallen short of the sanctity of his august office.

“In light of the above, we demand a comprehensive and independent investigation to determine the suitability of the senior manager to continue in this critical position,” said the union.

It further said his conduct in the Govender matter tarnished his credibility and integrity as the head of department.

Govender has been facing accusations that he misrepresented his academic qualifications when he applied for his position in 2017.

On October 31, council took a resolution that his contract be terminated with immediate effect based on the forensic report that he didn’t meet the requirements for his job.

The report by the Group Audit and Risk Unit suggested that Govender misrepresented his qualifications by stating that his advanced diploma in fire technology was equivalent to NQF 7, despite this not being evaluated by the SA Qualifications Authority.

His diploma was obtained from the Southern African Emergency Services Institute in 1996.

The report showed that NQF 7, which was as good as a bachelor’s degree, needed approval by the authority.

Last month, Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane found Govender’s appointment to be irregular and ordered the City to take steps and initiate a process of recovering a proportionate and reasonable portion of the amount of salary and benefits paid to him since his appointment.

Pretoria News

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