Labour Dept DG Lamati relieved to have UIF's Maruping back from suspension

Director-General Thobile Lamati said that although an acting commissioner was appointed to head the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the conclusion of the matter would bring certainty to the fund and its stakeholders.

FILE: Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) commissioner Teboho Maruping. Picture: @UIFBenefits/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Employment and Labour Department’s Director-General Thobile Lamati said that they were relieved that the disciplinary process against Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner Teboho Maruping had been concluded.

Maruping was suspended in September 2020 along with the UIF’s chief financial officer, chief operating officer and head of supply chain management after a report by the Auditor-General exposed irregularities with payment processes of the COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters).

Director-General Thobile Lamati said that although an acting commissioner was appointed to head the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the conclusion of the matter would bring certainty to the fund and its stakeholders.

Maruping’s sanctions include a final written warning and one month's suspension without pay after a disciplinary hearing in July last year found him guilty of contravening a section of the Public Finance Management Act and gross negligence in the appointment of media houses on sole provider status.

Lamati said that they were happy to have him back.

"He will be coming back. We are just finalising the details as to when but he will be coming back to resume his duties as the Unemployment Insurance Fund Commissioner," Lamati said.

However, not all disciplinary processes have been concluded against other executives.

"There are two that are still outstanding and the disciplinary processes are still going on. We hope that they will be wrapped up very soon so that we can put this matter to rest," Lamati said.

Eyewitness News understands that Chief Operations Officer Judith Kumbi was cleared of any wrongdoing by the special investigating unit and returned to work last year, meaning that only the Chief Financial Officer Fezeka Puzi and the head of supply chain management, Maria Ramashaba, were still to learn their fate.