While the City of Joburg and the attorneys of a suspended senior official in the planning department continue to argue over the legalities of the charges, former assistant director Preggie Naidoo has received a hefty R80 000 a month salary for the past 26 months - a total of more than R2million - for sitting at home. Naidoo, former assistant director of the national building regulations: plans examinations, claims that after differences with a former director, he was demoted to assistant director of plans examinations. He claims the charges were trumped up by the former director, who has since left the municipality.

He says he has been battling with the city to bring a finalisation to the suspension and disciplinary action so that he can be reinstated and stop costing ratepayers money for sitting at home. “I want this finalised. It is highly unusual for such procedures to take this long - it normally takes three to four months,” Naidoo said.He said his position was filled in January, and has produced an email from the city, distributed by the director of building development management, dated January 10, to all staff and management within the development planning department, stating that his position had been filled and announcing the person’s name. The Star has seen a copy.