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Butterfly takes Magosi to court

MPHO MOKWAPE
Litigating: Maswabi
Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agent, Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi is taking legal action against her employer and boss.

Known as ‘Butterfly’ in the covert circles, Maswabi will butt heads with the government and DIS director general, Peter Magosi over various decisions taken against her, which include withholding her full salary for the month of January 2020.

The 46 year-old Maswabi, who was arrested last October and charged with financing terrorism, possession of unexplained property and false declaration of a passport has issued a statutory notice of intention to sue.  She is seeking amongst others full pay and fixed allowances that the security agency is accused of withholding without her consent.

Maswabi, currently on interdiction from work, wants the decision of the DIS boss to withhold her salary, cease payment of her fixed overtime allowance and insistence that she should not leave her duty without authorisation be reviewed and set aside as it is unlawful.

According to her statutory notice filed on Wednesday, Maswabi alleges that the agency withheld her half salary and other emoluments on January 14, 2020, leaving her with a net pay of P0.00 despite her initial interdiction indicating that she would be on full pay.

“The decision of the director general or any officer acting under him is unlawful, irrational and consequently embarrassing financially and it should be corrected or set aside and full benefits be paid out,” she said.

Maswabi’s claim as contained in her court documents is based on grounds that on November 25, 2019 she was put on interdict pending investigations and was put on full salary pay and all benefits except overtime allowance.

Moreover, the letter said she was not to leave her duty station without prior authorisation and feeling aggrieved about the decision by letter dated November 29, 2019, she engaged the director general challenging the legality of the decision of which she said Magosi then reiterated his decision.

“Despite the decision by the director general to withhold my overtime allowance, it was paid on December salary,” she said. According to her court documents the overtime was,

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however, withheld together with her half salary and other emoluments leaving her with zero pay.

She explained that according to her salary advice slip it shows that only half of her basic salary was paid and no other benefits were paid out to her such as the scarce skills allowance, plain-clothes allowance, special duty allowance and overtime allowance.

Her contention is that she was never consulted on the variation of her benefits and the variation was not without her consent, which renders the decision unlawful.

“The allowances including overtime allowance are fixed and not dependent on whether I have worked or not,” Maswabi pointed out.

Furthermore, Maswabi’s claim is premised on the legality, according to section 35 (3) of the Public Service Act, which provides that an employees’ salary shall not be withheld during the period of her or his suspension. While section 16 (2) of the Employment Act provides that it is the duty of the employer to provide work to employee and if he fails to provide such, the employee shall be paid wages at the same rate as if the employee had performed a full day’s work whether the employee is or is not released from the workplace.

“The Act also on section 79 (1) provides that deductions that are not authorised by the employee are prohibited except those provided by law,” reads the documents.

Maswabi who according to her salary advice slip, indicates that she has not paid the Income Tax on the half salary saying it was unlawful as it was contrary to the Income Tax and Employment Act and intends to institute the proceedings seeking various orders after the expiry of the statutory notice.

She also indicted that she will be on an urgent basis seeking an interim order compelling full pay in the meantime.

Lastly, Maswabi has given the government until today to pay her full salary and benefits failure to which she will approach court for remedy.



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