A former Cosatu leader yesterday refused to state his plan of action after losing his court bid aimed at forcing one of the federation’s affiliates to pay him about R1.9m for firing him for being Zimbabwean, notes a report in The Mercury.

Gift Sandile Ndwandwe, the right hand man and bodyguard of former SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu, was fired last year after the union discovered he was a Zimbabwean and had fraudulently obtained his SA identity document.

Labour Court Judge Belinda Whitcher dismissed Ndwandwe’s application two weeks ago stating that there was no prima facie case that Satawu committed a breach which entitled him to invoke contractual remedies for a fundamental breach.

Ndwandwe’s lawyer Kimani Ndung’u would not say what his client’s next step will be or comment on his whereabouts.

In court, Ndwandwe said he did not commit any misconduct, was not found guilty of any and not offered any opportunity to respond to the allegations. Mahlangu himself was deported by the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) in 2017 after it was found he was in the country illegally and that, according to Satawu, his real name was John Sibande.

According to papers filed at the Labour Court, Ndwandwe states that in October 2017 Satawu’s then deputy general secretary Zacharia Mosothoane informed him that he had been suspended with immediate effect pending an investigation into allegations that the Department of Home Affairs was questioning his nationality.

Ndwandwe’s suspension was later reinstated by the High Court. However, in January last year, Satawu leaders met Ndwandwe to inquire about his representations to Home Affairs but when he refused to hand them over, Satawu fired him.

Full report in The Mercury (subscription needed)