Today's Labour News

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gavel thumb100 GroundUp reports that the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane has set aside a decision by the Makhado Municipality to ignore the recommendation of a selection panel and instead appointing the second-highest scoring candidate as its chief financial officer (CFO).

Acting Judge Sydwell Sikhwari ruled that the decision taken by the council in August last year to appoint Mulatwa Thangavhuelelo as CFO was unlawful, unreasonable and procedurally unfair. The case came before the court in an application by Godfrey Raliphada, the overlooked, top-scoring candidate. In response, lawyers for the municipality raised a number of technical points, arguing for instance that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the application and that it should be referred to labour bargaining forums or the labour court and also that the Employment Equity Act should have been invoked because of an allegation of unfair gender discrimination. Judge Sikwari, however, disagreed and said the allegation of unfair gender discrimination was just one of many complaints, the most prominent of the others being that the council had ignored the selection panel’s recommendation without rational explanation or any explanation at all, when it had no right to do so. At the interview process Raliphada had scored the highest with 86% and Thangavhuelelo second highest with 69%. Following a competency test, both were found to be competent although Thangavhuelelo scored higher in that round. The selection panel was unequivocally clear that Raliphada was the most suitable candidate. Municipal unions Samwu and Imatu welcomed the court’s decision. The council’s decision to appoint Thangavhuelelo had resulted in protests by union members last year.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tania Broughton & Bernard Chiguvare at GroundUp

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