Workers demand immediate suspension of transport boss

NATIONAL Education Health and Allied Workers Union members have said they will not rest until KwaZulu-Natal head of transport Chris Hlabisa is suspended.

The union (Nehawu) has accused Hlabisa of nepotism, maladministration, fraud and corruption, said Nehawu branch secretary S'khumbuzo Mdlalose.

The allegations against Hlabisa are contained in a Public Service Commission letter sent last month to former MEC for transport and community safety and liaison Bheki Cele.

The letter charged that Hlabisa "irregularly appointed" the senior general manager of operations - a "SS" Nkosi.

Hlabisa is also alleged to have disregarded a moratorium - on filling posts in 2007- by doing the opposite.

Mdlalose said in March this year the union followed up with a further document, citing a list of damming allegations relating to the transport department as a whole.

"These allegations are receiving attention as the current MEC Willies Mchunu has launched an investigation into the matter," he said.

"However, we feel that with Hlabisa still there, there can be no fair investigation," Mdlalose said.

Hlabisa said he was aware of the allegations but preferred not to comment.

Department of transport spokesperson Bhekisisa Mncube told Sowetan: "The MEC [Willies Mchunu] has appointed independent investigators to look into the workers' various grievances."

The DA has also called for Hlabisa's suspension pending the investigation.

"Despite claims by the MEC that Hlabisa is not the subject of the investigation, we believe that for a thorough departmental probe . he needs to be suspended from office," said DA transport spokesperson Radley Keys.