BREAKING NEWS: Labour Court has declared the suspension of Ombudsman unlawful

The suspension on Advocate S’du Gumede, the suspended Joburg ombudsman, has been declared unlawful by the Labour Court in Johannesburg.

Advocate Tim Bruinders SC ruled that Gumede wasn’t treated fairly and wasn’t given an opportunity to defend himself. “He should have been given an opportunity to persuade council why he should not be suspended. This is totally unlawful,” Bruinders SC said.

Judge AJ Coetzee said the suspension was unlawful and invalid.

Gumede has confirmed that he will report for duty as the City of Johannesburg ombudsman on 19 June.

Gumede was suspended after a closed Council sitting on 9 May and he subsequently took the City to court so that he could be reinstated.

The disappearance of important documents and failing to disclose his interests in a company that provided services to his office to the City were some of the allegations leveled against him. He, however, maintained that he did not have and never had a conflict of interest.

Gumede told Randburg Sun on 26 May that he would take the City to the Labour Court on 30 May after negotiations between him and the City did not reach a conclusion.

Mayor Herman Mashaba’s director of communications, Tony Taverna-Turisan, said the City was waiting for a copy of the judgement before determining their next course of action.

Read:

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Suspended ombudsman continues to get paid while legal battle is marred by delays

More updates to follow.

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Belinda Pheto, Chantelle Fourie

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