20 months after the Knysna Vehicle Testing Station closed down, the hearings for two of the officers allegedly involved in irregularities is still ongoing. What happened to the other officers involved is unknown.
This is a chronology of events as supplied by Corporate Services to the Governance Committee. It shows how dysfunctional, inefficient and frustrating our justice system is.
Are Knysna Municipality’s lawyers up to the challenge posed by union lawyers?
Nature of Charge: Non-compliance with Vehicle Testing Station Regulations & Traffic Act
- The first sitting of the hearing was set for 11, 12 & 13 Dec. 2013.
- Parties agree to postpone it to Jan. 2014.
- First sitting on 23 & 24 Jan. 2014. SAMWU (South African Municipal Workers’ Union) asked for postponement because the employee representative was not available, amongst other reasons. The presiding officer granted postponement.
- The hearing for IMATU (Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union) sat on 24 Jan. 2014. Their representative indicated that charges were vague and that they must be more detailed.
- Next hearing was set for 10, 11 & 12 March 2014. Only SAMWU proceeded as IMATU was not available. SAMWU declared a dispute and referred it to the Bargaining Council claiming that the Employer (Knysna Municipality) did not abide by timeliness as per the Disciplinary Code.
- The Arbitrator handed down its ruling on 18 July 2014. The decision was in favour of the Employer. SAMWU is challenging the Arbitrator’s ruling.
The officers accused are still receiving pay for no work. Salaries and forensic testing costs have reached R2million. Legal fees are unknown.