Tshwane Emergency Services chief Previn Govender quits amid dodgy qualifications saga
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Pretoria - Embattled Tshwane Emergency Services chief Previn Govender, who was found to have misrepresented his qualifications, has resigned amid disciplinary proceedings.
This is as a report on the disciplinary action is likely to be tabled in council before the end of this month.
Govender’s resignation comes after media reports that he continued to draw a hefty salary of R167 000 while sitting at home doing nothing.
He was placed on special leave by the City in 2019 in the wake of a forensic report recommending that his contract be terminated for lying about his qualifications.
The Pretoria News was reliably told that Govender handed in his resignation letter on September 27, and that he would officially part ways with the City on October 31 following a month’s notice.
On October 3, 2019, the council took a resolution that his contract be terminated with immediate effect based on the forensic report that he did not meet the requirements for the job he applied for in 2017.
Last year in December, Public Protector 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.
Mkhwebane found that his employment contract with the City was null and void in terms of the Municipal Systems Act because he did not possess the prescribed qualification before his appointment.
“The insertion by Mr Govender in the application for employment at City of Tshwane form and the CV reflected that his qualification was Advanced (Associate) Diploma in Fire Technology equivalent (NQF 7) while being aware that it was not, was manifestly incorrect, false, misleading and constituted an act of misrepresentation,” she said at the time.
Govender’s appointment was for five years, ending July 31, 2022, at an annual salary of between R1 219 663 to R1 829 495 per annum.
Chief of Staff Jordan Griffiths said the expected council deliberation of the discipline process would not be derailed by Govender’s imminent departure.
“Before the public protector’s report, there was a process that was enacted by the City which had to run its course before obviously going back to council. The process unfortunately took incredibly long because of Covid-19 and the administrators. There were multiple Labour Court cases,” he said.
Asked whether the disciplinary process would entail recouping money from Govender, he said: “The process has not yet concluded. It still has to go back to council and council has to be advised on what is happening and council has to take a decision.”,
Regarding Govender’s resignation, Griffiths said: “To be frank, the fact that he was intending to resign was pretty much an open secret. He had kind of indicated as such. But obviously there was a disciplinary process that was happening and that process still has to conclude and still return to council.”
He said council would still need to deliberate on the entire process because Govender was a Section 56 manager. “So it all depends on what happens by the end of this month,” he said.