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Union shuts down dept

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The money paid towards the festival was never recovered from Traffic Events.

THE NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) branch in the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture shut down services at the department yesterday after accusing the department of failing to pay their EPMDS (employee performance management and development system) as well as of not taking action against the head of department (HOD), Ruth Palm.

Union members downed tools and burned tyres at the Floors entrance to the department.

The union last week called on Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul to dismiss Palm pending an investigation into her alleged involvement in the payment of

R1 million to Traffic Events by the Northern Cape Arts and Culture Council (NCACC).

This follows findings in a recent report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane into allegations of maladministration and improper conduct relating to the misappropriation of public funds.

The festival was supposed to be held on December 31, 2016.

The money paid towards the festival was never recovered from Traffic Events.

The branch chairperson of Nehawu in the department, Victor Modise, said they would continue to demonstrate until appropriate action was taken.

“We heard that the MEC was in Johannesburg. We will, however, not be letting this matter slide. We cannot let officials in high positions still occupy office after such serious findings as those made by the Public Protector. If this was any normal employee in the department, he or she would have been suspended. All due processes should be followed in this matter too,” said Modise.