COURT'S DECISION AND INSIGHTS FROM THE CASE
Decision: Levi complained about his summary dismissal by ABC Air in which he asked for an order
setting aside the summary dismissal for being wrongful, null and void; and for which he is asking for
Levi does not understand that a dismissal cannot be both wrongful and at the same time null and void.
He also contended that his summary dismissal for gross misconduct was based on a document that did
not exist and was not given to him and as such the dismissal is wrongful.
The court held that there is a distinction between mere wrongful dismissal and an invalid or null
dismissal. “…That where the court makes a nding of wrongful dismissal, a payment in lieu of notice
will apply; but where the nding is that the dismissal or termination was null and void, then there is no
dismissal or termination as what ABC Air did was a nullity before the law...”
Insight: Levi in this case found it difcult to accept liability for documents that were not given to him
in the course of his employment with ABC Air. Therefore, to avoid any form of misconception, it is
important that employee handbook/HR manual is handed over to the employees upon their
resumption with the organisation (or when applicable) to give the employees clear understanding
of/adherence to the conditions of service of the organisation.
Decision: Levi further contended that the investigation process, procedure and the eventual
conclusion of the investigative panel set up by ABC Air was fraught with bias, discrimination, prejudice,
shoddy investigation, nepotism and failure to adhere to global best practices. He went on to give the
particulars of the shoddy investigation.
The court held that, “…aside the mere assertion of Levi to these claims, nothing else was provided to
substantiate any of them. For instance, Levi submitted that the investigative panel of ABC Air was in
gross contravention of the principle against discrimination by reinstating some of his dismissed
colleagues and dismissing others in the course of the same transaction. Levi’s pleading was of no help
since no evidence of the persons against whom the employee was discriminated was put forward
before the Court...”
Insight: Given Levi’s strong perception that the entire process that led to his dismissal lacked
credibility, it is advised that HR should follow best practices and ensure transparency and clear
communication (using various platforms) while handling employees’ disciplinary matters. Failure to do
so may be damaging to the organisation’s reputation
Decision: The employee’s claims for monetary reliefs in terms of salaries, allowances and
outstanding pension contribution which the court hinged on the wrongfulness or nullity of the
summary dismissal was not successfully proved by Levi, hence cannot be granted since the basis of
their claim has also not been successfully proved.
Insight: It is imperative for HR to know that remittance of statutory deductions as and when due is
not negotiable, as failure to do so may put HR and the organisation at a disadvantage. In the above
case, non-remittance of employee’s statutory deductions was a veritable tool the employee used
against the employer. The case would have been in favour of Levi if he had supported his claims with
Decision: Levi claimed that despite his promotion in February 2015, the corresponding salary for
the current level was never paid. Here, Levi believes he was promoted based on the letter dated 23rd
February 2015 titled “Revised Job Title”. The court held that the revision of job title is not a promotion
and cannot be interpreted as such, adding that an employer reserves the right to change the conditions
of service of the employees.