Bhisho reinstates axed manager
Top official reinstated after matric forgery row
A senior manager in the Bhisho legislature, fired last July after being found guilty of submitting a forged matric certificate when she applied for the job back in 1998, has escaped with a slap on the wrist after successfully appealing her dismissal.
Phumza Mbutuma, the institution’s special programmes unit and wellness senior manager, last week returned to office after the institution’s rules committee, chaired by speaker Noxolo Kiviet, reversed her dismissal and replaced it with a final written warning.
Mbutuma will also forfeit her March salary.
This is according to a confidential letter to Mbutuma, seen by the Dispatch, signed by administration head Vuyani Mapolisa on February 25.
Mbutuma failed to respond to text messages on Friday.
Legislature spokeswoman Maria Hermans confirmed the dismissal had been substituted with a final written warning.
“It is indeed correct that Miss Mbutuma was found guilty of an act of dishonesty relating to tampering with an aggregate symbol of her matric certificate.
“This was discovered after a qualification verification process undertaken by the legislature through the South African Quality Assurance (Saqa).
“The internal disciplinary process recommended dismissal. However, Miss Mbutuma lodged an appeal with the executive authority (Kiviet),” said Hermans.
She added: “Upon consideration of the appeal, the executive authority confirmed the guilty finding but considered the following mitigating factors: That Mbutuma had passed matric but only tampered with the certificate to elevate the aggregate to a higher symbol,
That she met the basic requirements of the job when she applied, which was the authenticated junior degree as declared by Saqa;
That she had worked for the legislature for more than 22 years;
That she had no previous transgressions; and She was about 54 and it was unlikely she would find another job if dismissed.
Mbutuma last year faced charges of dishonesty and gross insubordination, the latter due to failure to follow instructions when called upon to produce an original copy of her matric certificate.
According to submissions made by the institution during her disciplinary hearing, Mbutuma submitted a “falsified” senior certificate when she applied in January 1998.
She had apparently altered her aggregate symbol from an F to an E.
According to her charge sheet, in 1998, Mbutuma signed an application form declaring that all information she provided was “true and correct”, while it was not.
According to the charge sheet, such act constituted “forgery, gross dishonesty, misrepresentation and breach of trust and good faith” between her and legislature.
Her gross insubordination charge stemmed from her failure, a number of times, to produce her original certificate when asked to do so by her superiors.
She was first “instructed” on July 6 2015 to submit certified copies of all her academic qualifications. She did, but failed to submit her matric certificate.
On August 30 2017, she again failed to submit the certificate when asked.
In December 2017, according to her charge sheet, Mbutuma was asked by Mapolisa to hand over office keys, access cards, work laptop and all property belonging to the legislature, in preparation for her suspension.
She failed to do so, prompting the institution to, on January 30 2018, send her another request letter asking her to produce the certificate or proof that she had applied for such certificate from department of education as she had claimed to have lost it.
Again she failed to honour such request.
The following day, on January 31 2018, the legislature instructed her to submit no later than February 2 2018, a copy of her response to a letter written to her advising her of the institution’s intention to suspend her...
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