DEPUTY D-G wins labour case against premier

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga social services deputy director-general Hussain Verachia has now won a labour battle against Premier Thabang Makwetla twice

The Pretoria high court ruled in his favour for the second time last week after the original high court file and tapes of the judgment disappeared.

But when the same judge was forced to repeat his finding he reached the same conclusion that Verachia's dismissal was unlawful and turned down the government's application for leave to appeal the decision.

The case began in 2006 after the department was split into two budget votes for health and social services.

The department was split after Verachia's post as head of the department was upgraded to that of superintendent-general in 2005. Verachia said he thought his position would be automatically upgraded.

"I applied for the superintendent post but was shocked when former department head Confidence Moloko was appointed," he said.

Verachia wrote a letter of complaint to former MEC Pogisho Phasha and Makwetla, alleging that his position as deputy director-general amounted to a demotion.

He took the matter to the Pretoria high court, citing unfair labour practice. The court ruled that Verachia had been treated in a casual manner and spurious attacks were made on his contract of service.

Judge RD Claasen ruled that Verachia be compensated in accordance with the unexpired portion of his fixed-term contract, which runs into millions of rands.

Ntime Skosana, Makwetla's spokesman, said they were scrutinising the implications of the judgment with relevant parties and the matter would be resolved soon.