Embattled national consumer commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi urged trade & industry minister Rob Davies on Wednesday to extend her employment contract.
“I believe I have worked very hard. I have excelled,” she told the National Press Club in Pretoria. “I have gone beyond my call of duty. In fact, myself and the (consumer commission) team have made sure consumers are better off.”
The former communications department director-general said she wanted her contract, which expires on 3 September, to be renewed for a further five-year term. “I love my job and would love to continue in my position as consumer commissioner. I believe that for any institution to be effective, you need to give it between three to five years.”
The commissioner said approaching courts over the contractual debacle with the trade and industry department was a last resort, following failed bids to engage Davies.
“The court process has really been my last port of call. I have attempted on many occasions to [set up]meetings, to get an audience to resolve this matter, but it is also important for me to protect my rights.”
In June, the Johannesburg labour court dismissed Mohlala-Mulaudzi’s application to interdict Davies from terminating her contract. Her application was dismissed with costs.
In dismissing the application, presiding judge HS Cele said Davies had complied with the government’s labour procedure and it was inappropriate for Mohlala-Mulaudzi to complain before a new candidate had been appointed.
The commissioner had approached the court after Davies sent her a letter on May 21, notifying her of his intention not to renew her contract when it expires in September.
Following the stifled court bid, Mohlala-Mulaudzi said she was negotiating the way forward with her legal team.
“I am still in discussion with my legal team as to how we are going to take the matter forward. Very soon we will have a clear picture as to where we will be taking the matter,” she said.
She first took Davies’ department to court in May when her position was advertised, stating her employment agreement was violated as she was not consulted before the advertisement was placed.
The labour court ruled on 18 May that Mohlala-Mulaudzi’s contract would indeed end in September. — Sapa