Johannesburg - The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, has fired the suspended Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) director-general, Kgathatso Tlhakudi.
The writing has been on the wall that Tlhakudi will be dismissed after he was placed on precautionary suspension in June 2022, pending disciplinary proceedings against him.
Tlhakudi was placed on precautionary suspension pending a disciplinary hearing over a year ago on allegations of improperly appointing a security manager at the department.
This came after a whistle-blower’s allegation regarding his conduct in the process of appointing a security manager at the department.
It was reported that a complaint was received by the Public Service Commission last year, which further mandated Lamola to conduct an inquiry into allegations that Tlhakudi violated his employment contract.
The suspension was done on the instruction of Justice and Correctional Services Minister Lamola, who, in June last year, announced his suspension.
At the time, it was reported that Tlhakudi had allegedly overruled panel recommendations in the process of appointing a security manager in the department.
On Monday, the ministry announced that Tlhakudi had been dismissed following the outcome of the disciplinary processes against him.
The department spokesperson, Christin Phiri, said in a statement that Tlhakudi’s dismissal comes after a lengthy disciplinary process against him.
‘’The ministry of justice and correctional services confirms that the disciplinary inquiry has completed its course and has delivered its outcome.’’
‘’A due process was undertaken in which allegations were put to Mr Tlhakudi, who was represented in the inquiry. Having considered all the evidence presented, the chairperson of the disciplinary proceeding, advocate Ramawelee, SC, found that Mr Tlhakudi breached his contract and made sanctions of dismissal.’’
‘’Mr Ramola has given effect to the sanction and has thus issued Mr Tlhakudi with a dismissal letter dated June 2, 2023, in terms of Section 16B of the Public Services Act, 1994,’’ Phiri said.
After his suspension last year, Tlhakudi sought its lifting in the Labour Court. In his application, he accused DPE Minister Pravin Gordhan of unlawfully removing him from his position because he was an ‘’obstacle’’ to a programme involving the sale of SAA. The Labour Court ruled that his suspension was lawful, and the Constitutional Court refused an application by Tlhakudi for leave to appeal that ruling.