Chris Ndaliso
Senior journalist
1 minute read
4 Aug 2022
12:16

Court finds that KZN prison boss, Mnikelwa Nxele’s, suspension has expired

Chris Ndaliso

Nxele was suspended by the acting National Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale in February just after receiving a judgment in his favour to return to work.

Mnikelwa Nxele.

The precautionary suspension of KZN Correctional Services Regional Commissioner, Mnikelwa Nxele, has lapsed and expired, the Labour Court in Durban found on Wednesday.

Nxele was suspended by the acting National Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale in February just after receiving a judgment in his favour to return to work.

He has been on numerous suspensions for over three years on various charges of misconduct.

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Each time he challenged the suspensions, the department would file an appeal, further dragging his staying at home with full pay.

The suspensions began during former National Commissioner Arthur Fraser’s tenure. He has since left. 

Wednesday’s ruling follows Nxele’s appeal against the February suspension. Labour Court acting Judge Kelsey Allen-Yaman found that the precautionary suspension imposed on Nxele had lapsed and expired on the basis that the disciplinary enquiry into his alleged conduct was not held within the prescribed 60 days of the commencement of the suspension.

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Allen-Yaman further ordered the department to pay the costs of the application.

In the ruling, the judge pointed out that Thobakgale had no basis to prove that Nxele’s presence at work would endanger any employees or affect the work processes.

He said Thobakgale, who was appointed in an acting capacity as national commissioner in September 2021, seemed to be pushing an agenda of his predecessor which deprived Nxele of performing his duties.

Nxele has been cleared of seven counts of misconduct dating back to around 2013.