A senior traffic officer who was fired from his job more than a year ago has divine intervention to thank for being reappointed to his position.
Chief traffic officer in Limpopo's department of roads and transport, Tlhadishe Lekoloane, was fired on August 11 for allegedly failing to report to work for about 30 days without a valid reason.
The irony is that his dismissal letter is dated August 6 2007, but it was signed by the head of department, Mabel Makibelo, on August 11 2008 - exactly a year later.
After his dismissal, his family life was shattered as his wife left him for another man.
Following the subsequent divorce, Lekoloane suffered major depression and consulted a clinical psychologist for treatment.
But all that became history after the intervention of the South African Police Union (Sapu), which successfully challenged his "unfair treatment".
Sapu official Solly Bulala pointed out that in terms of the Public Service Act 103 of 1994, if an employee was absent from work without permission for a period exceeding 30 days, he would be deemed to have been dismissed.
However, he said the labour appeal court had indicated that if an employee returned to work, he or she should be given an opportunity to explain his or her absence.
Lekoloane resumed his duties yesterday. "Despite all the loss and pain I have suffered, I feel vindicated," he said.
Makibelo said the department had reappointed Lekoloane to his position in order for him to explain his absence from work. "This means that he should be given the right to be heard before a final decision is made as per a ruling by the appeal authority," she said.