Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A TOP Gwanda municipality official who was demoted for allegedly duping a home seeker by fraudulently selling him a residential stand allocated to another person, has taken his employer to court challenging his relegation.
Mr Kenneth Khumalo was last year suspended by Gwanda municipality for allegedly fraudulently selling a stand at Hlalani Kuhle area which belongs to one Lottie Nkala.
After his suspension was lifted, Gwanda municipality demoted Mr Khumalo from his post of deputy director of housing and redeployed him to the engineering services department.
Mr Khumalo, through his lawyers Legal Aid Directorate, is seeking an order setting aside the decision by the Gwanda municipality to demote him without conducting a disciplinary hearing.
In papers before the court, Mr Khumalo cited Gwanda municipality as the respondent.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Khumalo said his employer violated his constitutional right to fair labour practices by demoting him without first conducting a hearing in terms of section 6 (2) of Statutory Instrument Number 15 of 2006.
“On 3 November 2017, I received a letter of suspension from the respondent for allegedly unprocedurally and fraudulently selling stand number 6141 Hlalani Kuhle which already belongs to Lottie Nkala. On 13 December 2017, I further received a letter of suspension from the respondent informing me of the upliftment of my suspension and subsequently demotion from Grade D3 to Grade D1 for 12 months,” said Mr Khumalo.
He said he was removed from his post of deputy director of housing to a less influential post in the stores section under the department of engineering.
“I am advised by my legal practitioner that, in terms of section 6(2) of the Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006, the respondent is enjoined to, within 14 days after serving an employee with a suspension letter, investigate the matter and conduct a hearing into the alleged misconduct. In my case, no investigation was ever conducted but an imposition of sanctions of demotion without being given an opportunity to contest the verdict,” he said.
Gwanda municipality is yet to respond. — @mashnets.