14 October 2008
By Njabulo Dlamini
ELECTIONS under Mhlume Inkhundla might have to be held again after two winners threw doubts over their ability to serve as Indvuna Yenkhundla and Bucopho respectively.
The Indvuna Yenkhundla is Victor Mdakane and Bucopho is Pat Mokoena.
The MP, Siphiwe Kunene, who was employed as Section Manager has already assumed her Parliamentary duties and will leave the company.
MPs get approximately E26 000 a month.
Mokoena, who was Personel Officer at the RSSC is entitled to about E13 000 (including salary and all other perks and benefits) whilst Mdakane may get about E10 000, including basic salary and other perks.
If they assume the Indvuna and Bucopho jobs, they stand to get E2 000 and R3 000 respectively - a major departure from what they get at the RSSC.
Mokoena has chosen to remain with the company, whilst the Headman, Victor Mdakane is yet to decide.
They have been asked to either resign from their posts and pursue the new appointments.
The action by the RSSC is viewed by some as akin to unfair dismissal.
The feeling is that they should have been granted leave of absence instead of being asked to resign.
They have also been asked to vacate houses and surrender company property.
Correspondence titled 'Procedure for handling appointments to political office, public office or similar non-RSSC roles', is dated September 18, 2008, a day before secondary elections.
"It is intriguing why the company chose to release the document on the 18th; where were they all along?"some wondered.
The correspondence states: "Any employee who intends to engage or become involved in any external, non-RSSC, business interests is required to declare such interests by written application to the Managing Director as provided in Human Resources Procedure 1.3".
5.1 states that the offer of employment at RSSC is made and accepted on the basis of full-time employment in terms of which employees are expected to dedicate 100% of their time and energy towards meeting the goals and objectives of the corporation.
'Therefore, unless approved by the corporation in accordance with HR Procedure 1.3 (Avoidance of Conflict of Interest) employees shall not undertake any other job or appointment during the tenure of their employment'.
In 5.2 of the regulation is states that to become an MP, Indvuna YeNkhundla or Bucopho beNkhundla is deemed to be a full-time occupation.
'Any serving employee who assumes such appointment, cannot adequately perform the two functions of employee in RSSC and the other external business commitments at the same time'.
5.3 Any employee who elects to take up political office, public appointment or other external engagement will be required to resign his/her employment with the Corporation.
In 7.1.1 it says once the appointments have been made, the manager concerned will brief the employee about company policy as stated in these guidelines.
7.1.2 The employee will consider and should he/she elect to pursue the political/public career he/she will complete form HR 3.12.3 (Notice of Termination) formalising the decision to resign from the employ of the corporation.
The HR procedure is signed by General Manager Joe Shilubane and John Du-Plessis.
MP Kunene confirmed that the company wrote to them about the matter.
Human Resources Manager - Administration Dumsani Dlamini referred inquiries to the MD who was unavailable.
MEANWHILE, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Chairman Chief Gija Dlamini said there was nothing much they could do about the developments.
"The only setback would be if the entire inkhundla team were to step down meaning fresh elections staged.
That would be a financial setback to us but there's nothing we could do to get to that.
"Otherwise each organisation has its own set of rules as seen with government which asked civil servants to either resign or proceed on a five-year leave.
Other organisations may opt to proceed on a different route as seen in this instance. It's beyond the EBC's grasp," Chief Gija said.
Otherwise, he noted, their hope was for an amicable settlement between the two parties.