Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has once again handed a fair judgment in the long-running case between KwaZulu-Natal Treasury and a former senior employee in the department, Fikile Hlatshwayo-Rouget.
Coming clean on the case in her report titled “Rocking the Boat”, Madonsela stated that her investigation into allegations of abuse of power and victimization of Hlatshwayo-Rouget by the provincial treasury shows that she was unfairly dismissed.
Her report follows an investigation of alleged corruption‚ maladministration and abuse of state funds leveled against the provincial treasury.
The complainant, Hlatshwayo-Rouget had laid a complaint with the office of the Public Protector after the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury fired her in 2013 from her senior management position under “pretext charges”, for blowing the whistle on corrupt activities in the department.
She was only three months old on the job when she blew the whistle on corrupt activities in the department. Hlatshwayo-Rouget was suspended on October 30, 2013, and was subsequently dismissed in December 2013 without any prior warning.
Thuli said “the suspension and subsequent dismissal of the complainant on the basis of trivial charges were irrational‚ unreasonable and unfair.
It can justifiably be seen as a charade that sought to get the complainant out of the way by [then KZN Finance MEC Ina] Cronje and [Head of Department Smiso] Magagula who at the time believed and chose to stand by Dr. Clive Coetzee [a subordinate]; whom she [Hlatshwayo -Rouget] had accused of corrupt activities. The accusation has since been confirmed by the Treasury commissioned forensic investigation and by the Special Investigating Unit.”
Thuli, therefore, ordered the provincial authorities to compensate Hlatshwayo-Rouget for financial losses incurred by virtue of “incidental expenses related to her dismissal within 60 days from the date of issuing this report.”
Not only that, the endearing PP instructed the authorities to issue an apology letter to the complainant. It is understood that Fikile Hlatshwayo-Rouget had suffered financial‚ emotional and social prejudice following her dismissal.