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EXCLUSIVE: Joburg ombudsman given the boot, again

JOBURG – The ombudsman has been in a legal battle with the City of Johannesburg since May when he was first removed.

After returning to work for a second time on 14 August, the City of Johannesburg’s ombudsman, Advocate S’du Gumede has been asked to leave yet again. Their reasons were, Gumede said, that he could not work while the disciplinary hearing against him was underway.

The ombudsman has been locked in a legal battle with the City since May when he was first removed by the council. The disappearance of important documents and failing to disclose his interests in a company that provided services to his office to the City are some of the allegations levelled against Gumede.

He, however, maintains that he does not have and never had a conflict of interest. After being suspended, Gumede took the City to the Labour Court where his suspension was set aside. He then returned to work only to leave shortly after he learned that the City appealed this decision.

“They did however not proceed. The appeal expired,” Gumede told the Randburg Sun on 17 August, shortly before he was contacted by the City.

Gumede had returned to his office three months after being suspended, which he said was how long his suspension was valid for. Commenting on the case, sociologist Dr Liela Groenewald previously said it should be watched carefully.

“If an official is suspended before any wrongdoing has been proven, they continue to receive their salary. At the very least, City is paying for someone who is not being allowed to work.”
Gumede earlier also confirmed that he was still being paid by the City.

The City has been contacted for comment regarding the recent development and the story will be updated once it has been received.


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