IN THE LABOUR COURT OF LESOTHO
HELD AT MASERU LC/25/2015
IN THE MATTER BETWEEN
NTSUKUNYANE MOKHOTHO 1st APPLICANT
MOSEBETSI MONONELA 2nd APPLICANT
MOTŠELISI WEETHO 3rd APPLICANT
JEMINA SETONA 4th APPLICANT
NTJABU CHAKANE 5th APPLICANT
TEBOHO LIKOTSI 6th APPLICANT
‘MAMOLETE RAMAHAPU 7th APPLICANT
JERATA KAO 8th APPLICANT
SUZAN PALAMA 9th APPLICANT
‘MALEMPE MAKHELE 10th APPLICANT
NTINA LEBAKA 11th APPLICANT
MATŠELISO NTSUPA 12th APPLICANT
‘MARETHABILE TENEI 13th APPLICANT
MAMOHAU HOSPITAL RESPONDENT
Application for payment of salaries of Applicants made on urgent basis. Court finding that the matter is not urgent. Court finding that parties relied on matters external to the complaint to justify urgency. Further that Applicants have failed to show that they would not have substantial relief in future. Court further finding that the basis of the Applicants claims being brought before this Court was on account of alleged urgency. Having dismissed the prayer for urgency, Court declining jurisdiction over the claims with terms. No order as to costs being made.
BACKGROUND OF THE DISPUTE
“1. Dispensing with ordinary rules pertaining to the modes and
period of service.
2. A rule nisi be and is hereby issued returnable on the date and
time to be determined by this Honourable Court calling upon respondent to show case (if any) why an order in the following terms shall not be made final order in this matter.
(a) That the respondent cannot be ordered to pay applicants and other employees salary of April 2015 exactly the way it is reflected on their pay slip issued by respondent.
(b) That the respondent cannot be ordered to make payment
into applicants and other employees accounts on the 19th May
2015 before closure of the business.
(c)That the respondent cannot be ordered to pay costs that
applicant have suffered on their personal loans and others
due to delay of payment for salaries.
3. Cost in the event of opposition
4. Applicants shall not be granted further and/alternative relief.
5. Prayers 2(a) (b) (c) shall operate with immediate effect.”
SUBMISSION AND ANALYSIS
“An applicant party has to set forth, explicitly the circumstances which he avers render the matter urgent. More importantly, the applicant must state the reasons why he claims that he cannot be afforded substantial redress at a hearing in due course. The question of whether the matter is urgent to be enrolled and heard as an urgent application is underpinned by the issue of absence of substantial redress in an application in due course.”
a) That the circumstances of the matter require that it be heard and determined on urgent basis; and
b) That if the normal modes and periods of the court are followed, an applicant party will not obtain the substantial relief.
(a) A prima facie right, even if doubtful,
(b) Apprehension of irreparable harm,
(c) The balance of conscience favours the granting of an interdict, and
(d) The absence of a satisfactory remedy in future.
(see Setlogelo v Setlogelo 1914 AD 221; National University of Lesotho v Ntitsane & others CIV/APN/454/2012, Lepule v Lepule CIV/APN/193/13; Nthati Mokitimi v Central Bank of Lesotho LC/23/2011).
“"I am not persuaded that the matter was so urgent that anything more drastic than enrolment on the motion roll even in the ordinary way, even if that were on short notice, was required. In the present case some financial loss to applicants is alleged, albeit faintly, but there is no suggestion that it would be irrecoverable.”
“The following disputes of right shall be resolved by arbitration –
(c) a dispute concerning the underpayment or non-payment of monies due under the provisions of the Act;”
Clearly, this is a matter that falls within the jurisdiction of the DDPR to arbitrate, as the Labour Court clearly lacks such powers.
On the basis of the above reasons, We find that,
THUS DONE AND DATED AT MASERU ON THIS 10th DAY OF AUGUST 2015
T C RAMOSEME
DEPUTY PRESIDENT (a.i.)
LABOUR COURT OF LESOTHO
MRS. RAMASHAMOLE I CONCUR
MS LEBITSA I CONCUR
FOR APPLICANTS: MR. SEOAHOLIMO
FOR RESPONDENT: NO APPEARANCE
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