Paid R500000 to chill out
March 21, 2011
After spending more than R500 000.00 on paying a suspended senior official for two years, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has finally decided to act.
Following a protracted disciplinary hearing, the department fired principal environmental officer Tebogo Mooketsi on Friday for misconduct dating back to November 2008.
Mooketsi continued to draw a R19 000.00 monthly salary and perks that included a subsidised car and cellphone airtime vouchers.
The department axed Mooketsi in the same week that The Times queried the progress of his disciplinary hearing.
The department's "transversal services" deputy director-general, Priscilla Pietersen, said Mooketsi's salary and perks could not be stopped because he had not been found guilty of anything.
She said the department had stopped the airtime vouchers but could not say when.
The department would not give precise details of Mooketsi's suspension and axing, but The Times has established that he was suspended for selling department files to prospective developers at the Cradle of Humankind.
Pietersen said a "full" internal disciplinary hearing took place and that the presiding officer ruled on January 7 that he be fired.
The sanction was, however, not implemented until March 15 and the sheriff of the court delivered his dismissal letter only on Friday.
- Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa revealed in parliament last week that 105 police officers were suspended with full pay in the 2009-2010 financial year, costing the government R2.5-million.
Responding to a parliamentary question, Mthetwha said he had told police management to "review, extensively consult, and come up with proposals about policies governing suspension with full pay" and report to him by the end of April.
Mthethwa took a tough stance, saying paying suspended "cowboy cops" to stay at home "could soon become a thing of the past".
- The Mail& Guardian reported in November that about 50 Mpumalanga education department examination officials, suspended for their roles in leaking grade 12 question papers in 2009, were still drawing salaries totalling R5-million a month.