National Library whistleblower gets banned from disciplinary proceedings


A National Library whistleblower has asked the labor court to stop the disciplinary proceedings.

  • The labor court granted a ban on a whistleblower at the National Library of South Africa from instituting disciplinary proceedings against her.
  • She alleged that the company secretary tried to illegally inflate his salary and that the CEO had protected him.
  • She remains suspended but will also dispute this.

The labor court has banned the National Library of South Africa from conducting a disciplinary hearing against a whistleblower who exposed how the company secretary allegedly attempted to increase his salary fraudulently.

News24 reported on Wednesday that Matuma Masipa, the director of human resources at the National Library, has gone to the labor court to ask for an urgent ban to stop the disciplinary proceedings.

She made protected disclosures to her lawyer and to the Québec Ombudsman and applied to the Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration Commission (CCMA), but the National Library wished to continue the disciplinary procedure.

Masipa’s urgent request was heard on Wednesday and the judge issued the order the same day. The clerk did not issue the court order until Friday morning, but the order was communicated to all parties on Wednesday, Masipa’s lawyer Bongani Khoza said.

The disciplinary hearing is prohibited from prosecution pending the referral of Masipa’s case to the CCMA.

However, Masipa remains suspended.

Khoza said:

We had issued a formal notice to the employer, demanding that our client’s suspension be lifted. However, the employer, through the CEO’s office, refused to relieve him. We are currently preparing a request to challenge the suspension.

“We are pretty confident in a victory in this process. It is unfortunate that public funds are used by the CEO to silence a whistleblower.”

READ | National Library whistleblower appeals to labor court to stop disciplinary proceedings

In her founding affidavit, filed with the Labor Court in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Masipa recounts how she found out that the Secretary General of the National Library, Sanele Mabaso, had organized a pay rise.

She said Mabaso informed the human resources department that her services had been requested by Petroleum Agency South Africa and provided a letter with a salary offer to that effect.

This invoked the NLSA employee retention policy, in which the library will oppose an offer made to the employee.

Masipa, who began to be suspicious of Mabaso, contacted Petroleum Agency South Africa, who informed her that they had not even advertised for the position in question, let alone making Mabaso an offer. They filed a criminal charge.

Masipa’s affidavit contains the allegedly fraudulent letter of offer and his correspondence with Petroleum Agency South Africa.

After bringing this to the attention of the CEO of the National Library, Kepi Madumo, she was subject to disciplinary proceedings, while Mabaso was, she said, “protected” by Madumo.

Khoza said:

Our client, who is a whistleblower who has reported irregularities in the workplace, finally enjoys court protection.

“The judge hearing the case considered it necessary to prohibit the employer from continuing its illegal actions, which constitute professional harm, as defined in the Protected Disclosures Act.

“The secretary general and the general manager of the public establishment were prevented from silencing our client.”

READ | National Library board to investigate whistleblower allegations against company secretary

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the National Library’s board said it would investigate the allegations against Mabaso and Madumo.

“We welcome the decision of the Board of Directors to investigate the matter. This is what we, citizens of our territory, expect from those in charge of the public service. consequences at the end of the investigation, that’s what we expect. We are awaiting a communication from the Council regarding our client’s contribution to the investigation.

News24 approached Mabaso for comment earlier this week. He said the case was before the courts, therefore sub judice, and asked for it to be allowed to be finalized.

The National Library of South Africa – an agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture – is the custodian and provider of the country’s main knowledge resources.

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