Tlhakudi had also asked the court to declare that his suspension has lapsed.
In a statement, the DPE welcomed the Labour Court judgment and reiterated its position that his suspension was within the bounds of the law.
“He was not unlawfully removed from his position. Government is vindicated by the judgment. This is confirmation that justice prevails, even when people in a position of authority and accountability threaten the rights of others through unsubstantiated and untested pronouncements.
“The department remains resolute and steadfast in eradicating maladministration and abuse of power without fear, favour or prejudice, irrespective of the position the person occupies. The Minister views the unsubstantiated allegations in a serious light and refutes them with the contempt they deserve. The Minister reserves his rights in this regard,” the statement read.
The department explained that Tlhakudi was suspended after a complaint was laid against him at the Public Service Commission, which was then sent to Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan.
The complaint was then investigated by a senior investigator and a report was made in this regard.
“The report was referred to the President in terms of the Public Service Act 1994, which provides that the appointment and career incidents of a head of a national department shall be dealt with by the President. The President delegated the matter to Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, to take disciplinary steps and all ancillary attendances.
“Having considered the matter, Minister Lamola, decided to place Tlhakudi on precautionary suspension, required that he hand over all work-related tools and or equipment in his possession that were assigned for the execution of his duties, and instituted a disciplinary process against the DG.
“Facts matter - and the real truth will prevail,” the department said.
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