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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

Pic­ture: iSTOCK

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