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Court lifts suspension of accounting authority board members

COURT GAVEL
Image: STOCK IMAGE

The labour court has lifted the suspension of board members of the accounting authority and now they may resume duties at the construction education and training authority (Ceta). 

They were suspended by higher education and training minister Blade Nzimande in January after he appointed an administrator to perform the functions of Ceta after placing the training authority under administration.

Nzimande accused  some of the board members of financial irregularities involving the pensions of employees.

The department and Ceta appeared before the labour court last week and Judge GN Moshoana said the decision by Nzimande to place Ceta under administration has been reviewed and set aside.

“The appointment of the administrator is set aside and the instruction issued by the minister prohibiting the accounting authority to make any decision with financial implications has been revoked and set aside,” Moshoana ruled.

“The minister as a party to these proceedings is to pay the costs of this application.”

The department said Nzimande will appeal the judgment as he has been advised that there are good prospects that another court may agree with his decision.

“While individuals have a right to go to court, in this case it is clear that we may be seeing what has become the source of the rot in many state-owned entities,” Nzimande said.

“When some board members of state entities choose to go to court against government, it often happens when they start developing their own individual interests that are separate and often in conflict with the mandate of such entities.”

 The minister said Ceta has been dysfunctional for a long time and that the process of putting it under administration will  allow a fair process of dealing with allegations of corruption as some of the Ceta board members are implicated in corruption and maladministration allegations.

Ceta board and executive committee member Webster Mfebe said Nzimande’s application for leave to appeal, notwithstanding his right to do so, must be seen in its proper context of a travesty of justice and abuse of court processes to feed his insatiable appetite to perennially break the law as he has done the same thing in the past of appealing and losing up to the highest court.

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