Friday, July 3, 2020

Gov’t settles out of court with irate employee

Government has made an out of court settlement with an employee who had approached the courts after her promotion was reversed. Deputy Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe has confirmed that they had reached an out of court settlement with Mary Mabotho, who was suing government after Permanent Secretary to the President Eric Molale rescinded her earlier promotion to the position of Manager Corporate Services.

In her founding affidavit Mabotho said she was promoted to the post of Manager Corporate Services and transferred to the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture on July 16 2009. But Godfrey Nthomiwa, the registrar of the High Court, told her that, though he agreed with her promotion because she deserved it, he could not accept her transfer to the Ministry as she was indispensable in human resources management at the High Court.

Nthomiwa then took the letter of promotion from her and told her that he would talk to the PSP about retaining her in the High Court. She said Nthomiwa frustrated several attempts she made to move to the MYSC and said he was still negotiating with the PSP.

However, she was surprised when she received a minute from Nthomiwa on April 23, informing her that the PSP was withdrawing her promotion. The PSP also ordered that a causality return be raised to reverse her salary scale back to D1, and that she should pay back the salary she had received from October 2009.

She said the reason given was that she had never reported to her new post at the MYSC. After receiving the letter, Mabotho said she made several efforts to meet Nthomiwa. When she eventually met him, Nthomiwa told her that it was an instruction from PSP, and he had reversed her salary to D1 through a causality return.

She said she asked why he had tempered with her salary without informing her to which he replied that he was busy with judicial service commission business.

Mabotho submitted that the PSP’s decision is not justifiable, is in conflict with the Public Service Act and breaches the contractual relationship between her and government. She said government was wrong in taking a decision against her without giving her notice of hearing. She further wanted the court to direct the Accountant General not to reverse her salary, and for the attorney General to pay the costs of the case. Keetshabe said they agreed with Mabotho that she should be reinstated to salary scale E2 and relocated to another ministry.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.