Jan 31, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

‘Victimised’ public protector office head reinstated with R1.5m back pay

The Public Servants’ Association (PSA) on Tuesday welcomed an award from the CCMA ordering the reinstatement of Free State Chief of Public Defender Sphelo Hamilton Samuel by next Monday.

The Arbitration Commission, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) also said he must receive an back payment of R1.5 million.

Samuel, a member of the PSA, was subject to a disciplinary hearing in 2020 by suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who accused him of multiple allegations of misconduct. The indictment followed a letter he wrote to Parliament in 2020 calling for an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s behavior and pointing to financial mismanagement at the institution.

“The member was subsequently sacked in December 2020 and the PSA referred a wrongful termination dispute to the CCMA,” the PSA said in a statement.

She said the CCMA commissioner found June 24 that the public protector failed to meet the burden of proving that Samuel broke a rule in relation to the charges against him. As a result, the dismissal was found to be essentially unfair.

“The PSA welcomes the ruling as a victory to ensure fair treatment of employees who have been victims of harassment and unfair treatment by the suspended public protector,” said the PSA.

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