Two former Bhisho legislature senior managers, implicated by the Neela Hoosain Commission in the sex-for-jobs and jobs-for-pals scandal at the institution dating back to 2015, have been found guilty of gross dishonesty, gross insubordination and breaching the trust relationship with their former employer.
Among their misdemeanours were obtaining the Hoosain investigation report “by deceptive means” and taking the institution to court where they submitted “false and deceitful statements”.
The Hoosain Commission recommended that action be taken against the pair for their alleged involvement in the 2015 sex and jobs scandals, but this has yet to be acted upon.
The legislature’s internal disciplinary hearing, which was finalised last week, found the institution’s former human resources management head Malibongwe Ngcai and strategic manager Basil Mase guilty on four “dismissable offences” of seven charges against them.
- Illegally obtaining “by deceptive means” and making public the sex-for-jobs investigation report;
- Making “false and deceitful statements” in court when they wanted to prevent the publication and implementation of the report;
- Persistently failing or refusing to disclose to the legislature how they came to be in possession of transcripts of the legislature’s rules committee meeting of December 2015, which discussed the report; and
- Giving “false and deceitful evidence” in their disciplinary hearing.
Mase and Ngcai both jumped ship to take up senior posts at the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) at the beginning of June, even while their hearing at the legislature was under way.
Cogta MEC Fikile Xasa appointed Ngcai and Mase on June 1 as his department’s new general managers for corporate services and strategic information management.
This came just a day after they tendered their resignation letters to the legislature’s legal team on May 31.
In his judgment last week, advocate Luvuyo Bono said: “I am convinced the employees committed the misconduct they were charged with.”
However, he said no action could be taken against them as they had terminated their relationship with the legislature.
“Given the fact that the employees have resigned, this is the end of the inquiry. No sanction can be imposed given the fact that no employment relationship between the employees and the employer exists,” Bono said.
Both Mase and Ngcai said it was “malicious” for Bono to continue with the hearing after they had resigned.
“We terminated our relationship with the legislature long before the hearing was completed. It is very strange that they proceeded while we were no longer employed there.
“We will take them head-on because if they wanted to continue with this they should not have accepted our resignation,” said Mase.
Ngcai said they had instructed their lawyers “to subject the conduct of the DC [disciplinary committee] chair [Bono] to judiciary review”.
“Making a judgment when we had already resigned is malicious. It shows they had ulterior motives because their authority over us ended when they accepted our resignation,” said Ngcai.
Bono could not be reached for comment but the institution’s administration head Vuyani Mapolisa said the legislature felt “vindicated” and was “happy” about the judgment. “We always knew that what was done by these two officials was gross. What is even more helpful is that the judgment further vindicates the legislature against the witchhunt and purging claims levelled at the leadership of the institution in the public domain.”
Mapolisa added: “There is nothing we will do with the report as it is academic. The two officials were going to be dismissed according to the findings as each finding relates to a dismissable offence. However that is now academic since they have resigned.”
Cogta spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam said yesterday the department “was not aware” of any judgment against the two and thus could not comment on the matter.
National Education and Health Allied Workers’ Union deputy chairman at the legislature, Jerry Basson, said yesterday workers felt vindicated by the judgment.
“The union is vindicated by the outcome of the disciplinary hearing as it confirms all our previous views about these two officials. We are however concerned …about their employment [by] Cogta…we feel that it would have been wise for Cogta to wait for this outcome before they employed these rogue officials.” — firstname.lastname@example.org