Judge turns down whistle-blower

AN URGENT application to halt a disciplinary hearing against a municipal whistle-blower was dismissed by the Johannesburg labour court on Friday.

AN URGENT application to halt a disciplinary hearing against a municipal whistle-blower was dismissed by the Johannesburg labour court on Friday.

"I do not believe this matter is sufficiently urgent," acting Judge Karen Fulton said.

The employee, Patrick Ashane, was embroiled in a revelation that a fellow Limpopo employee allegedly stole municipal airtime to win a competition for a new BMW.

Ashane wrote to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in September asking for an audit of Sekhukhune municipality's finances after the allegations surfaced.

Ashane was represented by the Open Democracy Advice Centre, which attempted to halt the disciplinary hearing against him scheduled for today.

The municipality suspended Ashane and accused him of bringing it into disrepute because of claims he made on SABC radio about the competition.

Fulton declined to argue the merits of the case and dealt with its "urgency".

The matter began when an employee spent more than R200000 of the municipality on the Vodacom competition.

The employee won the vehicle by allegedly using a municipal 3G card to enter. It has since been placed in a municipal pound while the employee faces criminal charges. - Sapa

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