Case of staffer axed by the protector dismissed
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s former chief operating officer, Basani Baloyi, must approach the Labour Court if she wants to get her job back, according to an expert.
The Pretoria High Court ruled it did not have the jurisdiction to preside over her bid to challenge her dismissal in October. Baloyi claimed Mkhwebane fired her for ulterior motives and also wanted the same court rule on the constitutionality of Mkhwebane’s handling of certain investigations.
Constitutional expert Phephelaphi Dube said: “The first part regarding the jurisdiction was not a surprise.”
There have been several cases where the court made it clear that the Labour Court had exclusive jurisdiction for matters pertaining to the workplace.
She suggested the second matter was an ill-advised endeavour on Baloyi’s part unless she was an affected party in any of the investigations Mkhwebane allegedly handled unconstitutionally.
“Regarding the second matter, I was a bit torn because it wasn’t as if she was one of the affected parties who felt that they had been prejudiced as a result of the poor handling of those cases.
“They should be the ones to come before the court to challenge those cases themselves,” said Dube.
“It comes across as though she is an aggrieved former employee who is just trying to throw the book at Mkhwebane.”
Baloyi’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, has yet to indicate whether he would be approaching the Labour Court or appealing the court’s dismissal of their application.
Judge Mmonoa Teffo dismissed Baloyi’s application regarding her axing with costs.