The DA wants the Public Service Commission to urgently investigate delays in finalising the disciplinary cases involving 6 334 civil servants on suspension since 2012. A Pretoria News report says this comes after Public Service & Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu revealed in his response to parliamentary questions that R4.5bn was paid to civil servants while they were waiting for their disciplinary hearings to be concluded. DA MP Mimmy Gondwe had asked the nature of the disciplinary offence each employee allegedly committed and the turnaround time for suspensions.

In his written response, Mchunu said a total of 6 344 civil servants were on suspension two months ago – 6 092 were employed by national government departments and 292 were working for provincial departments. Mchunu said the government had spent R2 418 531 668.20 in the 2019-20 financial year pending the finalisation of disciplinary hearings. A total of R2 080 977 700.20 was spent as of January 2021, he said.

Gondwe said the Department of Public Service & Administration should consider placing a cap on the time it took government departments to resolve disciplinary cases of suspended public service employees. Mchunu’s response showed some employees were on suspension for up to 21 months. Of all 6 334 suspended officials, 578 were civil servants alleged to have contravened Acts; 287 had intimidated others; 197 had carried firearms or dangerous weapons at work; 392 had wrongfully used state property; 208 had blocked others from joining a trade union; 208 had slept on duty without approval; and 185 had mismanaged finances.

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