Fired North West agriculture department head Emily Mogajane has won her court battle against North West Premier Edna Molewa.
Ruling in the Mafikeng High Court last week, Judge Ronald Hendricks ordered that MogajaneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dismissal from the provinceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s agriculture department be set aside. Molewa fired Mogajane in March.
The judge hauled Molewa over the coals for not following procedure in dismissing Mogajane and ignoring disciplinary hearings last November that also cleared her.
Judge Hendricks said it is ”a disturbing fact” that she was fired while the disciplinary process was not yet finalised. He also rejected MolewaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s argument that MogajaneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dismissal was in the public interest.
Mogajane, South AfricaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first black female veterinarian, applied last month to the Mafikeng High Court to have her dismissal set aside. She had been axed by Molewa on grounds that she had ”polarised the management and staff of the department, leading to infighting” and had ”continuously, during her suspension, continued to issue negative statements about government in the media”.
The premier also accused Mogajane of flatly refusing an offer ”to negotiate her exit” when informed ”of the terrible, undesirable and unbearable relations that currently exist between yourself and the government”.
MogajaneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s supporters, including the National Education Health and Allied WorkersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Union, claim she has been victimised because she commissioned a forensic audit into corruption in her department. She is under the protection of the National Prosecuting Authority after providing information on corruption in the North West.
Mogajane was first suspended in August last year for interfering in the language policy of the Potchefstroom Agricultural College. The axed official claimed her remarks were quoted out of context and that she was merely referring to a report on language policy at the college.
Despite winning her case, Mogajane is still at home. She did not want to comment on her victory as she still faces another round in her battle with the premier in the Labour Court.