The drama initially unfolded after Govender tendered his resignation to the Newcastle Municipality at the end of 2021. While he withdrew his resignation a week later, Govender’s problems were far from over.
In January 2022, tensions between the Newcastle Municipality’s new leadership and Govender escalated. At the time, Newcastle Municipality’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Thwala said that a special council meeting was being held to remove Govender.
Newcastillian News published an article on the matter where Cllr Thwala said “From my side, he has to go. Unfortunately, Mr Govender does us no justice. There is no doubt that this acting MM is using his position to push his own political agendas.”
To read more, click here.
After booting Govender from the Newcastle Municipality, the municipal entity was taken to task in May 2022. The Labour Court heard the matter and ordered the Newcastle Municipality to reinstate Govender to his position of SED Community Services with immediate effect.
Furthermore, the court declared the suspension unlawful, and that Council was responsible for having to pay the legal costs, with the estimated legal fees standing at R1 million.
To read more, click here.
Just days after being ordered to reinstate Govender, the Newcastle Municipality yet again suspended him and this time laid criminal charges against him.
After months of legal battles, Govender officially won his case on Friday, 13 January 2023.
Contacting him for official comment, Govender explained that he was unable to discuss the matter as he had agreed to a non-disclosure following the legal battle concluding.
His lawyer, Ravindra Maniklall from Ravindra Maniklall & Co. Attorneys did however say, “Mr Govender was found not guilty on all charges.” The charges against Govender included maladministration and corruption.
Unable to dive too much into the topic, Maniklall stated that the matter was one between an employee and their employer.
Despite the legal proceedings now having come to an end, Govender will not be returning to the Newcastle Municipality after having decided to rather take a step back from Newcastle’s Municipal sector.
Newcastillian News reached out to Melusi Ndima, manager of the Office of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Cllr Musa Thwala, the Municipal Manager Zamani Mcineka and the Newcastle Municipality’s Speaker, Cllr Thengi Zulu for comment. However, none was forthcoming at the time of publication.
What are your thoughts on the above-mentioned? Share your views in the comment section below.