BREAKING NEWS: Constitutional Court Win for Whistleblower

Posted in Blog

The Department of Roads and Public Works in the Northern Cape has failed in a desperate attempt to stave off implementation of a court order returning a whistleblower to work, with the Constitutional Court of South Africa dismissing their last ditch effort at appeal.

The whistleblower, Mr. Motingoe,  was employed as the head of Legal Services at the Department of Roads and Public Works in the Northern Cape. In 2013 Mr Motingoe blew the whistle on irregularities in the Department involving the tender process of a civil construction work/project at the Theekloof-pass. Mr Motingoe has a Labour Court order, and an arbitration award, against the Head of the Department, Mr K Nogwili ,and the MEC, Mr David Rooi, with both orders saying the suspension was because of his blowing the whistle, and therefore had to be allowed back to work.

The Department has used a private law firm to appeal the Labour Appeal Court order, and failed. They then applied to the Supreme Court of Appeal and failed, and applied to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal. This has also failed.

Contempt proceedings against the Head of Department and MEC in the Northern Cape were heard in the Labour Court in Cape Town in August this year, and a judgement is awaited.

Lorraine Martin, head of the whistleblower support unit at ODAC, comments that “the cost for the whistleblower in this case have not just been the legal costs, in which he has been partly supported by ODAC, but the personal costs. He has been suspended for almost 2 years, been attacked in the media, and suffered reputational damage. We have no doubt these legal stratagems are fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and a waste of tax payer money. It is unsurprising that whistleblowers see the law as ineffective, and we urge the Department of Justice to introduce long awaited amendments to the Protected Disclosures Act."

Contact Lorraine Martin 083 530 8181 for more detail.