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Manyokole suspended again

Mohloai Mpesi

The lengthy neck-biting brawl between the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) boss Mahlomola Manyokole seems to be nowhere near-end.   

The dramatic dispute added another episode this week when the Premier penned another suspension letter to put the Directorate boss out of work.

The letter comes after the Judge; Justice Moroke Mokhesi lifted the first suspension last week after reading out the judgment in which Manyokole challenged both the tribunal setting-up against him and the suspension.

Although Mokhesi’s verdict declared the suspension against Manyokole void ab initio, it also alluded that the tribunal endeavour premeditated against the latter for fitness test run could proceed.

In the second suspension letter authored this week to the anticorruption body boss, Majoro tied a criminal charge sheet instigated against Manyokole on three counts; corruption, money laundering and abuse of power as stated in CRI/T/MSU/74/21.     

“Suspension of Director General of DCEO from Duty in Terms of Section 4 (6) of Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offence Act No. 5 of 1999 (As amended) following judgment in CIV/APN/463/20 and common law on account of criminal charges in CRI/T/MSU/74/21,” the letter reads.

“This letter bears reference to the subject-matter captioned above.

“I am in receipt of the advice of Minister of Justice and Law recommending your suspension from duty following the establishment of a tribunal in terms of Legal Notice No. 139 of 2020,” Majoro’s letter reads.

“I author this letter mindful of the order imposed by Mr. Justice Mokhesi in CIV/APN/463/20. I have also been made aware that you are facing criminal charges and currently out on bail in CRI/T/MSU/74/21. I have thoroughly applied my mind to the recommendation and gave due consideration to the competing interests involved and found it prudent to act as I hereby do.

“Acting pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 (6) of Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offence Act No. 5 of 1999 (as amended)-and also given the fact that you are also an accused in the above-referenced case, I am also empowered under common law to place you on suspension on account of criminal proceedings in which you are currently on bail with full pay and benefits forthwith,” the Premier wrote.

The suspension letter restricted Manyokole from setting his foot near or at the Directorate’s campus, and further instructed him to leave all possessions owing to the Directorate- be it a key or even a pen.

“This suspension shall be operational until such time when the question of your fitness to hold office or otherwise has been fully investigated and concluded by the aforementioned tribunal. On even note, the criminal trial in which you are charged and currently on bail is yet another weight factor that prompts the suspension that I currently place upon you.

“During this period of suspension, you shall not attend your place of work, other than for the purpose of assisting in the investigation into your conduct by the tribunal. Please, therefore, remain available to meet with any of the persons assigned to investigate this matter. You shall not contact any other employee of the Directorate during this period of suspension. You will refrain from venturing in any public debates or conduct public interviews about the privileged institutional information of DCEO without express authorization of the acting head and any such will prompt disciplinary action against you,” the letter continued.

Quizzed about his next move subsequent to the unfolding, Manyokole told this publication that he was still consulting his lawyer to advise him regarding the suspension.

“I have consulted my lawyer regarding the suspension. We are still deliberating on the decision to make on this matter,” he said.   

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