The North West Provincial Government has noted the Labour Court’s unopposed ruling in favour of suspended Head of the Provincial Department of Health, Dr Thabo Lekalakala.
The court ruled that he must be reinstated with immediate effect.
“The North West provincial government was surprised to learn on Thursday evening that [Lekalakala] has obtained a court order that he be reinstated to his post. It is evidently clear that he applied to the Labour Court on an urgent basis and his application was unopposed,” said the provincial government on Friday.
The provincial government placed it on record that it was not aware of any papers served on it to allow government to oppose Lekalakala’s application to the court for reinstatement.
The department said it will review the ruling and investigate where and to whom notices to defend were served.
Lekalakala was suspended by former Premier of the North West, Supra Mahumapelo, pending serious allegations levelled against him.
He reported to work after 60 days, in line with chapter seven of the SMS handbook. A day after reporting to work he was placed on special leave by the Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
He then challenged his placement on special leave to the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC), which found in his favour that the special leave was deemed to be unfair.
Motsoaledi then wrote a letter to Lekalakala, wherein he lifted the special leave.
The Minister further instructed Jeanette Hunter, the North West Department of Health Administrator, to fully implement the arbitration award, which made a determination that Lekalakala be compensated for three months as a result of the unfair suspension.
The capturing of the three months’ payment as compensation for unfair suspension has been done and his placement has been lifted.
Lekalakala reported to work on 19 November 2018 and he was subsequently placed on precautionary suspension by Premier Job Mokgoro on 21 November 2018.
“This was done because of the seriousness of the allegations and charges he is currently facing. Had the authorities been procedurally informed, the North West provincial government would have opposed and successfully defended this matter because there is just cause for the actions we took,” said the provincial government.
The Office of the Premier and the Department of Health are reviewing the court order and investigate as to where exactly notices to both respondents were served.
“It is worth noting that the disciplinary hearing for Lekalakala proceeded on 11 and 12 December 2018 as was scheduled.
“The hearing has since been adjourned to early next year,” said the provincial government.-SAnews.gov.za