Labour Courts not a 'back-up' for state lawyers – judge
Publish date: 09 September 2019
Issue Number: 840
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A regional manager for Stats SA (SSA), charged with dishonesty over irregular recruitment of personnel to the organisation, has been sanctioned by one month's salary deduction, rather than dismissal as SSA had wanted. The manager scrapped the names of people listed for consideration to fill a vacancy, replacing them with his preferred candidate. But even though management found out almost immediately afterwards, they confirmed the new appointee, and even extended his contract, writes Carmel Rickard in her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site. It was only two years later that any action was taken against the manager for his action, something the Labour Court found inexplicable. The court also used the case to drive home several points to lawyers appearing in the Labour Court. One of these was that the court should not be regarded as a 'back-up plan' for management in state departments. Instead, management should make sure that the people appointed to preside in disciplinary proceedings were competent and could do the job properly.