The University of South Africa, has scored a big victory in the Labour Court this week. Five former staff members had taken UNISA to court over their dismissal earlier this month. The employees had been on a lengthy suspension after they disrupted graduation ceremonies in March this year. The Labour Court has now thrown out the application from the former employees.
UNISA secures court victory against five former staff
The university says it decided to fire the five employees as they violated the terms of their suspension. It also found them guilty of inciting public violence and malicious damage to property. The employees were protesting at the time over wage disputes with the university.
Each of the five former employees were NEHAWU shop stewards.
“Despite repeated advice and warnings by the university for the striking NEHAWU members to cease and desist from participating in an illegal and unprotected strike, they continued to lead and organise an unlawful strike by university employees aligned to NEHAWU, intimidate and harass the employees who are not in support of their unlawful conduct, blocked the university entrances, which actions have seen operations of the university, in particular the planned Autumn Graduations.”The University said on May 7th
“No jurisdiction”, nothing against NEHAWU
UNISA announced on Sunday that the Labour Court had dismissed the application brought by the former employees. The court found that the applicants failed to establish the court’s jurisdiction.
UNISA says it has nothing against NEHAWU, but took a decision to protect life and property once it deemed the industrial action had turned violent.
It also says it acted within its legal right after some employees violated university policies.
The University and NEHAWU met this week and are scheduled to meet again next week to find an amicable solution. As it stands, UNISA says there is no salary dispute yet.