Disciplinary Hearing to Begin

Article excerpt

BYLINE: KAREN BREYTENBACH

Noel Pietersen has failed in his urgent high court bid to overturn his provisional suspension as Oudtshoorn municipal manager and his disciplinary hearing on allegations of financial misconduct is to go ahead today.

Cape High Court Acting Judge Sakkie van Staden dismissed Pietersen's application for interim relief with costs on Friday morning.

Pietersen had sought to overturn the Oudtshoorn municipal council's November 14 decision to suspend him provisionally on full pay, pending a disciplinary tribunal. He also wanted the council to hold a special meeting to clarify its support for him.

Pietersen was formally notified on January 6 that his disciplinary hearing would begin on January 13.

Complaining that this was too little time to prepare, the council postponed the tribunal to today.

Pietersen claimed in papers that executive mayor Diane de Jager and the council had failed to follow correct procedure in provisionally suspending him as he had not been given an opportunity to make representations to the council.

The council and De Jager strongly denied this in their affidavits.

Pietersen alleged that his suspension was politically motivated and unfair.

His counsel, Donny Jacobs, said the basis of the matter was whether his client had been afforded a hearing before he was suspended.

He said his client had not been given a chance to give his side of the story and the suspension was therefore unlawful and unfair.

De Jager's counsel, John Rogers, argued that Pietersen had failed to prove he had not been given a chance to make representations or that the council had not considered his written submissions. …