Legal Articles and Guides
An academic, who chose to return to his family home to deal with the trauma of being accidentally exposed to HIV, has succeeded in showing his subsequent dismissal by the Vaal University of Technology was unfair. Labour Court Judge Anton Steenkamp ruled in favour of Dr Pieter Wynand Conradie.
The practice of companies dismissing employees through alleged fraudulent liquidation scams is playing out in the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) in Johannesburg. In what The Star calls a ‘David v Goliath’ case, 34 former employees of Unique Storage Equipment (USE) in Alberton are taking on Tim van Wyk for supposedly liquidating his company and firing his employees, only to reregister it using another trading name, allegedly with the same assets.
The CCMA has found that former SARS spokesperson Adrian Lackay was not constructively dismissed. A News24 report says Lackay – who had worked at SARS for nearly 12 years – resigned in February 2015, alleging that the organisation had ‘made his continued employment intolerable’. CCMA Commissioner Joyce Nkopane found that he had not lodged a formal grievance and was not able to prove that his employer made his working conditions intolerable.
The KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) judgment in the case of Singh and Another v Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate Management Association Two (RF) (NPC) and Others, provides a ‘timely’ reminder that no person or body (including a body corporate) can contract themselves out of constitutional or other legal obligations, says constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos.
President Jacob Zuma made yet another major concession in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) yesterday, admitting via his lawyer Ishmael Semenya SC that the R17m golden handshake offered to former NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana was unlawful and that Nxasana should pay back the money. A Business Day report recalls Zuma has made similar about-turns recently.
Private estates cannot enforce road traffic law or ‘domestic rules’ similar to the curfews and pass laws of the apartheid era‚ the KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) has ruled. A TimesLIVE report notes the judgment ended a long-running case brought by Niemesh Singh‚ a resident of Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate‚ who argued that speed trapping in the estate was unlawful.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) will have to decide on Monday if it will allow former National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana’s affidavit as part of the case to have his settlement and golden handshake reviewed and set aside, says a Business Day report. Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law launched an application in November 2015 to have the settlement agreement, which led to his resignation as prosecutions chief, set aside.
A dispute over parking spaces at work between a black man and a white man culminating in the use of the term ‘swartman’ was heard by the Constitutional Court yesterday. Meyer Bester was dismissed in 2013 following an incident where he stormed into a meeting at his workplace at Thembelani mine in Rustenburg, shouting ‘verwyder daar die swart man se voertuig’ (remove that black man’s vehicle).
SAA is embroiled in litigation that has brought it up against Brazilian law, following its appeal against a finding by a Labour Court in that country. A Business Day report says the ruling stems from the unfair dismissal of SAA’s South American head, Nelson de Oliveira, whom the airline accused of poor management and neglect involving inconsistencies and incongruences in handling lost-baggage claims.
Although a dozen Public Works officials were hauled before a disciplinary hearing for their involvement in what the department described as a breach of tender processes over the appointment of contracts for President Jacob Zuma's R246m Nkandla homestead upgrade, a secret deal has been arrived at, officially ending the matter. According to a TimesLIVE report, the Public Servants Association (PSA) confirmed that cases against the 12 had been ‘finalised’.
The Northern Cape Department of Health obtained an urgent interim interdict against Karibuni Security Services this week to prevent any security guards from entering state health facilities in the province and from threatening violence or assaulting anyone. According to a report on the IoL site, there had been complaints last month from guards demanding a meeting with the Health authorities in order to discuss the new contract with Defensor Security as from 1 November for the next three years.
When a specialist police unit launched an undercover, anti-corruption sting on staff at a busy South African border post, their agent found what many ordinary people have long known: it is indeed possible to ‘bribe your way through’. A participant in the covert operation was given a passport that did not belong to him and R350; then sent out to test the probity of the officials who dealt with him. Before long he was through – with R100 change.
The Labour Appeal Court in Johannesburg has ruled that employees hired via labour brokerage firms will be entitled to benefits if they remain employed by a company for more than three months‚ says a Daily Dispatch report. Judge Pule Tlaletsi ruled this week that employees of a labour broker become permanent employees of the client company after three months of working there.
Dr Grzegorc Ludwick Pietz – who was dismissed without a disciplinary hearing for insolence‚ insubordination and gross negligence – will receive compensation equivalent to three months’ remuneration. A TimesLIVE report notes the doctor had been abusive towards nurses and had been grossly negligent in how he attended to a pregnant patient in November 2009.
The Johannesburg Labour Court has upheld the dismissal of a University of Venda lecturer who attempted to pressure female students into sex in exchange for marks‚ describing a decision by an arbitrator from the CCMA to set it aside as ‘grossly irregular’, notes a TimesLIVE report.