A Public Works employee fired for his involvement in a controversial R500-million police leasing deal is back on the job — with a R2-million payout from the department for his time away. Sam Vukela, acting director-general of the department at the time the lease was signed, has been reinstated after winning a contentious arbitration award. Despite legal opinion suggesting Vukela’s reinstatement can be challenged, the department is keeping him in his old position.“Yes, we can confirm that advocate Sam Vukela is back as [deputy director-general] of corporate services,” the department’s communications officer, Reggie Ngcobo, told The Times. Vukela was fired in 2013 when it was found that he had acted negligently by facilitating a multimillion-rand business deal with property mogul Roux Shabangu, departing from standard tender processes. The police had approached Public Works for office space ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Only two floors were needed but the police entered into a lease ag...

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