Former National Health Laboratory Service CEO's pension withheld

Alleged fraudster and former NHLS CEO Joyce Mogale will not receive her pension payout.

The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), together with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), has secured an order from the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria allowing it to not pay out any pension benefits to its former CEO, Joyce Mogale.

Last year, Joyce was fired from the NHLS, along with CFO Sikhumbuzo Zulu, following "procurement irregularities" worth R200 million. The two were charged with irregularities and failure to fulfil their duties in relation to three procurements.

News24 reports that the order was granted on 5 March and directed the pension fund and its administrators to not pay out funds that might be due to her, pending the finalisation of a damages claim against her.

According to SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, who spoke to the news site, a damages claim was instituted against Mogale and another former official of the NHLS in the Johannesburg Labour Court for about R236 million. This happened in August last year.

"At the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings, Mogale was dismissed with effect from 2 May 2019. On or about 3 July 2019, the SIU and the NHLS brought an application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in which the SIU and the NHLS sought an order to direct the Alexander Forbes Retirement Fund and Alexander Forbes Life Limited not to pay out to Mogale any pension benefits that were due to her, pending the institution and finalisation of a damages claim that would be instituted against her.

Kaizer said that, in terms of Section 37D of the Pension Funds Act, the pension fund was empowered to deduct any amount that a member owes to his/her employer in respect of  'compensation in the event of any damage caused to the employer as a result of theft, dishonesty, fraud or misconduct.