Dr Ivor Blumenthal (SSeta's CEO) approaches UASA for advice and assistance
Dr Blumenthal was suspended on 12 April 2011 and escorted from his office – under the apparent threat of force – by SAPS officers accompanying the Seta’s new chairman, Mr Sihle Moon.
UASA considers Dr Blumenthal’s suspension unlawful and the union will, accordingly, represent and assist him insofar as the de facto suspension and threatened disciplinary proceedings are concerned. We also consider Dr Moon’s appointment as chairman of the SSeta unlawful.
Dr Blumenthal had challenged Sihle Moon’s appointment as chairman of the SSeta, citing a legal opinion that the appointment — made by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande — was in breach of the Skills Development Act.
On 8 April 2011, Dr Blumenthal was handed a letter entitled Notice of intention to suspend pending an inquiry to a misconduct, indicating that Dr Blumenthal had allegedly engaged in misconduct. The letter expressly provided that Dr Blumenthal was afforded an opportunity until 08h00 on 15 April 2011 to provide written reasons motivating why he should not be suspended pending an enquiry into his alleged misconduct.
Notwithstanding this, a notice of suspension was simply issued to Dr Blumenthal on 12 April and he was physically removed from his office.
UASA contends that the way in which Dr Blumenthal was removed from his office by members of the SAPS is highly irregular and unacceptable, in what should at the most be an internal disciplinary or labour issue.
UASA intends to take further the patently unlawful misuse of the SAPS in this matter, including lodging a complaint with the Independent Complaints Directorate.
For more information, or to arrange a personal interview, please contact Leon Grobler 082 455 1736.