C of A
LESOTHO COURT OF APPEAL
INTERNATIONAL OF LESOTHO RESPONDENT
Steyn, P G.
Friedman, JA M.
matter comes to us by way of an appeal against a decision of the High
Court. That Court (Peete J) had granted an order setting
finding of the Labour Court that the dismissal of the appellant from
the employment of the respondent was null and void.
The Labour Court
had made this finding because it held that the respondent had failed
to prove that the person who dismissed her
was authorised to do so.
finding reads as follows:
"There being no evidence of delegation of power we are not (sic)
the view that the purported dismissal of the applicant (appellant)
Mr. Wilson (the official who dismissed the appellant) on the 15th of
January 1995 was materially flawed and as such of no force
in law as he had no power dismiss." (sic)
setting aside this finding the High Court pointed to the following:
appellant had in a written statement confessed to having stolen some
bags containing coins from the trays of the slot machines
operated by the respondent.
Labour Court had held that the evidence established her guilt on
had not challenged the authority of the chairman of the disciplinary
hearing (the Mr. Wilson referred to above) to dismiss
letter from the general manager of the respondent had been handed
in. In this letter Mr. Wilson was appointed to chair and preside
over the relevant disciplinary hearing.
letter authorised him to exercise all the necessary disciplinary
powers, including dismissal. This constituted, so the High
held, a valid delegation of authority.
addition, the personnel manager of the Respondent stated under oath
that as chairman of the meeting, Mr. Wilson had been given
to dismiss anyone found guilty. Moreover this had been explained to
all those involved in the disciplinary hearing. This
Mr. Fosa contended that this evidence fell short of what was required
and that documentary proof, other than the letter
handed in at the
hearing should have been produced to substantiate that the authority
conferred was a valid delegation. In this
regard he went so far as to
suggest that the authorisation should emanate from the articles of
of the company concerned.
obviously fallacious. The uncontradicted evidence established the
authority of the chairman of the disciplinary enquiry
to dismiss the
appellant. In the circumstances the High Court was clearly correct in
finding, as it did that the evidence established
that the dismissal
of the appellant was lawful.
reasons the appeal is dismissed with costs.
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