SADTU in Limpopo vindicated by Labour Court decision which found Education MEC and HOD to be in contempt of Court

9 November 2017

SADTU in Limpopo has consistently indicated that the Department of Education in the province has no regard for the rights of its employees and the authority of the courts.

In August, SADTU was forced to return to the High Court to force both the Education MEC and HoD to comply with a court order made on 10 August, 2017 interdicting the Department from implementing an unlawful no work no pay on SADTU members at the head office. On 3 November, 2017, the Union had to again approach the Labour Court, this time for a member.

On March 13, 2017 and after successfully challenging the unfair dismissal of a SADTU member, Elvis Managa in the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), the Department was ordered to reinstate Mr. Managa and pay him his salary from the date of his dismissal. On the 13th of May, 2017, SADTU wrote to the Department requesting that the award be implemented. As usual, the Department simply ignored the award and SADTU's plea. The Union then instructed its legal team to take steps to enforce the arbitration award.

On the 18th of August, 2017 the Labour Court ordered the Department to comply with the arbitration award. Again, the Department failed to comply with the Labour Court order to effect the award within 10 days of order being issued and only partially complied a month later.

On the 3 November, 2017, the Labour Court declared both the MEC and the HoD to be in contempt of court. Both are now required to appear in the Labour Court on the 8th of December, 2017 for sentencing.

This is another example of the daily struggles of SADTU and her members who continue to be on the receiving end of an uncaring administration.

As with the other five cases SADTU took to court, the MEC and the HoD were ordered to pay the costs of the applications. Not only are we facing persistent inefficiency but a total waste of public resources as more and more cost orders are obtained against the Department and the public funds continue to be used to pay for these. This is while some children hardly have toilets in their schools.

As part of Pillar 1 of the Union's 2030 Vision which is about servicing members, SADTU will leave no stone unturned and spare no effort to ensure that the rights of her members are respected and that the MEC and the HoD are held accountable.

SADTU has repeatedly called upon the Department to address the concerns we raise on a regular basis. SADTU reiterates its call to both the MEC and the HoD to engage with SADTU in good faith to ensure that we address these persistent administrative problems. Pending both approaching and taking SADTU's offer for a meaningful engagement, we will continue to use the alternative approach of the courts to force the respect for our members' rights.

SADTU further calls upon the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to hold both the MEC and the HoD personally responsible for all the cost orders arising from their failure to work.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Provincial Secretariat


Raphasha Matome - Provincial Secretary: 082 804 0800
Tjebane Sowell - Provincial Deputy Secretary: 082 808 3161