Eastern Cape premier warned of 'legal implications' after hiring official fired from previous government job

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, who approved the appointment of Siphokazi Ndudane as accounting officer at the department of rural development and agrarian reform, has been warned to consider the legal implications of appointing a provincial head of department who was dismissed from the national department.
Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, who approved the appointment of Siphokazi Ndudane as accounting officer at the department of rural development and agrarian reform, has been warned to consider the legal implications of appointing a provincial head of department who was dismissed from the national department.
Image: Alan Eason

Public service and administration minister Senzo Mchunu has written to Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, warning him about the legal implications of hiring a public servant who was fired from another sphere of government.

Mchunu said the government had a responsibility to restore public confidence by employing public servants with impeccable records of good governance, given that they are entrusted with managing public finances.

“It is against this background that I have since written to the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Mr Oscar Mabuyane, to consider the legal implications of appointing a head of department in the province who was dismissed as deputy director-general from the national department,” he said on Monday.

Mabuyane unveiled Siphokazi Ndudane as the Eastern Cape’s new accounting officer for the department of rural development and agrarian reform. This was just days after Ndudane was dismissed as deputy director-general for fisheries management by the national department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Mchunu said  according to the Public Service Act, an employee who is dismissed for misconduct in terms of the act may be re-employed by any department, including a provincial department, only after a prescribed period.

“Section 17(4)(b) of the Public Service Act further provides that different periods may be  prescribed for different categories of misconduct,” he said.

Ndudane was fired for alleged theft of three tons of abalone valued at R7m. This is an  allegation she denies.

Mabuyane told the Daily Dispatch last week that he was not aware of any disciplinary processes and the subsequent axing of Ndudane when he appointed her.

Ndudane has previously told TimesLIVE it was "laughable" that department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries director-general Mike Mlengana wrote her a dismissal letter when she had already resigned on November 12.

“On 25 to 29 November, after the DG accepted my resignation, he decides to run a disciplinary hearing, which he has been postponing since June 14 2018. I was not present at the hearing,” she said.

She threatened legal action against Mlengana and the department “to challenge the legality” of her dismissal as well as a “brazen disregard of the rule of law”.


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