C. of A.
(CIV) No.1 of 1986
LESOTHO COURT OF APPEAL
Appeal of :
MOKOTELI NTEBELE Appellant
UNIVERSITY OF LESOTHO Respondent
appellant in this appeal instituted action against the respondent
University in the High Court for judgment in the sum of R15,944.00.
The appellant's cause of action was based on the allegation that he
had entered into a contract of employment with the respondent
which had not been lawfully terminated by the respondent, although
the Roma Campus Registrar of the respondent had purported
to do so on
the 25th of June, 1975.
common cause that with effect from the first of October 1974, the
appellant had in fact been employed by the respondent as
Dean of Student Affairs. The relevant terms of the employment
provided as follows:
member shall be appointed initially for a probationary period of one
year. If the appointment is confirmed at the end of
period, it shall be without time limit up to the age of retirement,
namely 60 years, provided that anyone over 60 may be
employed at the
discretion of the Council.
may be terminated by not less than (for B3 equivalent and higher
categories) three months. (for B4 and B4 sec) one
month's notice on
letter from the Roma Campus Registrar, dated 25th June 1975, drew the
attention of the appellant to paragraph 3 (b) above and
in compliance with this provision, the appellant was being given one
month's notice from the 30th June 1975 to the
30th July 1975. A
subsequent letter from the Roma Campus Registrar dated 11th July 1975
stated that the period of notice should
have been three months and
not one month. The appellant was informed that he would, under the
circumstances be paid his salary
up to the end of September 1975. He
was in fact so paid.
appellant contended before us that these purported notices of
termination were invalid because the Roma Campus Registrar had
authority to terminate the respondent's contract of employment. Only
the University itself, acting through its Registrar, could
do so and
a proper notice terminating the contract of employment was essential,
support of these submissions the appellant relied on section 13 (1)
(a) of the Employment Act No.22 of 19670 as amended by Act
1977 which reads as follows:-
(1) Every contract, not being a contract for one period of fixed
duration nor a contract to perform some specific work
or undertake a
journey, without reference to time shall be deemed in a case where:-
contract is to pay wages at a monthly rate ........ determinable by
either party at any time on not less than one month's
clear from this provision that the need for a notice in terms of
Section 13 (1) (a) arises only if the contract concerned
is not "a
contract for one period of fixed duration nor a contract to perform
some specific work or undertake a journey, without
in accordance with the common law. A contract of employment for a
fixed period, ordinarily expires at the end of that period
be deemed to have terminated then, without any notice, unless there
is an agreement between the parties to extend the
terms thereof in
any particular case.
contract of employment between the appellant and the respondent was
"initially for a probationary period of one year."
expiry of that year, the employment terminates, without notice,
unless "the appointment is confirmed at the end of
no evidence whatever before the Court a quo that the appointment was
confirmed at all, at or before the end of the initial
period of one
year. No such impression was ever given to the appellant.
contrary, it was made perfectly plain to him that the University did
not, for various reasons, wish to perpetuate the employment
the initial period of probation.
was therefore necessary in law to terminate the appellant s contract
of employment when it expired at the end of September
accordingly follows that even if the Roma Campus Registrar was not
authorised by the University to give to the Appellant
terminating his employment, the obligation of the University to
retain the appellant in its employment ceased at
the end of
September, 1975 in terms of the appellant's conditions of employment.
conclusion makes it strictly unnecessary for me to consider the
submission of Mr. Tampi on behalf of the respondent that the
before the Court a quo proved that the Roma Campus Registrar was in
fact properly authorised to give the notices he did
respondent had, since February 1975, transferred to the Lesotho
campus administration ail matters relating to the employment
academic staff. Suffice it is to say, that there is substantial
evidence in support of this submission.
intimated to the Court that should the appeal be dismissed he would
not insist on an order against the appellant for costs
of the appeal.
result I would make an order dismissing the appeal.
Judge of Appeal
at MASERU on the 23rd day of January, 1987.
Appellant - In Person
University - Mr. Tampi.
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