WORK IN PROGRESS
of unfair discrimination. The court ordered that the employees who were denied appointment even though they had been recommended must be appointed to the relevant posts if those posts had not been filled or were filled but were vacant and the appointment should be with retrospective effect to the dates when the individual employees should have been appointed.
With regard to those individual employees who had applied for the posts that remained filled to the date of the judgment, the court ordered that their remuneration should be placed at the level at which it would have been if they had been appointed to the posts and this should be with retrospective effect to the dates when they would have been appointed had they not been denied appointment.
The SABC was one of the media houses covering the abovementioned judgment and, 11 days later, an urgent judgment was issued in the Labour Court, involving an urgent application by a number of employees of the SABC. Initially the employees had sought interim relief to uplift their suspensions from work, suspend disciplinary proceedings against them and various other related relief. This interim relief was subject to a number of other applications. The employees were provided with ammunition in their application by the recent Constitutional Court outcome, which declared the ban on broadcasting protest action as illegal. The amended papers then filed had included the setting aside of the dismissal of the employees which had taken place and ordering their reinstatement.
It is unnecessary for us to summarise the facts of the matter as these have been within the public realm.
The charges against the employees involved, among others, noncompliance of their contractual obligations with alternatives of insubordination and insolence. This was due to, among other things, the distancing of the employees from the instruction provided. Despite a number of these background applications occurring, the SABC acted recklessly and terminated the services of the individuals with immediate effect. This necessitated the amended papers.
The employees’ application was based on two grounds: first, that it was
They contended that their dismissal would mean breaching their constitutional right to freedom of expression