‘SUSPENDED’ TRAFFIC OFFICIAL STILL IN OFFICE: DAILY DISPATCH

A SENIOR traffic official accused of sexual harassment is still at work in the provincial transport department despite two orders that he be suspended.

Two weeks ago, the provincial legislature’s transport portfolio committee gave MEC Thandiswa Marawu a day to make sure provincial deputy director Charles Bramwell was placed on precautionary suspension.

Last October, a sitting of the legislature also ordered the department to suspend Bramwell.

However, yesterday, department spokesman Ncedo Kumbaca confirmed the deputy director was still in office.

In reaction, committee chairwoman Busisiwe Ndlangisa-Nodada said she hoped the department had good reasons for not suspending him.

“We will refer this to the speaker because it was an ultimatum based on a resolution of a sitting of the house. So if it turns out that there isn’t a good reason for him not being served, the speaker has to act because it would make this defiance of the house,” said Ndlangisa-Nodada.

The 2008 national traffic officer of the year could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Allegations of numerous offences, ranging from sexual harassment and abuse of female traffic officers to racism and misappropriation of department funds, surfaced last year.

Asked what caused the delay in implementing the committee’s ultimatum, Kumbaca said: “There is a signed letter that we have for him [Bramwell], but we have been struggling to actually serve him. There are certain processes we need to follow. There were never any intentions to defy the committee, but we also cannot just act without following processes.”

COPE MPL overseeing transport, John Korkie, said the issue needed to be treated with care.

“We can’t just be quiet about this, but at the same time I’ve seen people being found not guilty after two years of fighting in a disciplinary case. It can destroy a person,” he said.

“The department said it’s busy with preliminary investigations … I think the evidence against him is scant, and obviously the department is being careful with how they deal with this.”

DA MPL Veliswa Mvenya said the committee was merely giving a voice to those women who had complained about Bramwell.

“In this case we’re not saying Bramwell is guilty, but simply that the department needs to investigate these claims. To do that properly he needs to be placed on precautionary suspension,” she said.