South Africa: Fired for Misconduct, Rehired By Presidential Minute - the Curious Case of Land Affairs DG Mdu Shabane


Sacked for serious misconduct in 2017, Rural Development and Land Reform director- general Mdu Shabane is back at work courtesy of Presidential Minute No 37 of 2019, one that not only caused taxpayers to cough up for his defeat in court, but also binds government to ditch a Labour Court ruling that had gone against him.

A collective decision involving President Cyril Ramaphosa and two Cabinet ministers paved the way for sacked land affairs DG Petrus Mdu Shabane to return to office last week.

He resumed his duties at the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs on 2 September 2019 following a controversial settlement deal that was triggered by a Presidential Minute issued on 26 February 2019.

This resulted in a deal signed between Shabane and former land affairs minster Maite Nkoane-Mashabane and former public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo weeks later.

Astonishingly, the agreement, now effected, provides that all decisions relating to his December 2016 suspension, the guilty findings of a disciplinary hearing in July 2017 and the sanction of dismissal be "set aside" as "unlawful" and "invalid".

In short, this is because the case against him was allegedly unlawfully initiated by the then-land affairs minister Gugile...

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