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By Ilse de Lange

Journalist


HR officer loses defamation case

The officer lost his R1.6 million defamation claim against the justice minister and director-general.


A human resources officer at the justice department who was taken in for questioning after acting “suspiciously” when a batch of fraudulently ordered iPads arrived at the office has lost his R1.6 million defamation claim against the justice minister and director-general.

Judge Nomsa Khumalo dismissed Sekitle Mashedi’s claim for his tarnished dignity and reputation, trauma, post-traumatic stress and loss of earnings with costs.

Mashedi claimed the director-general, Paul Nel (who was not at the office that day), had in May 2012 unlawfully accused him of misconduct, causing him to be arrested in front of his co-workers and his computer, printer and cellphones being confiscated.

The department’s acting human resources director withdrew the accusation of unlawful conduct almost a year later.

Khumalo found management’s suspicions were genuine and their conduct justified.

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