We have published the 11th issue of the 2021 Labour Law Sibergramme, in which John Grogan deals with the following cases:
Eskort Limited v Mogotsi and others
(JR1644/20)  ZALCJHB 53 (28 March 2021), unreported (Thotlhemaje J)
This judgment arose from what the judge described as a topical problem: what to do with employees who deliberately flout Covid-19 regulations?
Mr Mogotsi was an extreme case. He worked in a meat processing factory where health and safety must be top priority. He was also on the company’s Coronavirus committee.
After travelling home with a colleague who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, Mogotsi developed suspicious symptoms and had a test himself. But before the result came back, he returned to work without mentioning any of this to management. He then went round the factory without a mask and hugged a colleague with comorbidities.
Fisher / Western Cape Department of Education
(Education Labour Relations Council case no. ELRC487-20/21WC dated 20/04/2021, unreported (Commissioner A Bhoopchand)
While Ms Fisher was employed at a primary school on a six-month fixed term contract commencing in January 2020, she fell pregnant. Her contract was extended for a further three months during the Covid-19 hard lockdown but was not renewed.
Fisher claimed that she had been given a shorter contract because she was pregnant and that she had been unfairly dismissed. The department said that her contract had been extended only because schools had been closed due to the lockdown and that she had performed poorly before falling pregnant.
National Commissioner of SA Police Service and others v Phopho
(PA 19/2019)  ZALAC 9 (25 May 2021), unreported (Davis JA, Coppin JA & Molefe AJA)
Captain Phopho found himself in trouble after being suspected of indecently assaulting a woman at a police station. After a disciplinary hearing he was found not guilty. But a criminal court later found him guilty and sent him to jail.
The SAPS immediately stopped Phopho’s salary and informed him that he had been discharged in terms of section 36(2) of the SA Police Service Act 68 of 1995, which provides that an officer sentenced to direct imprisonment must be discharged with immediate effect. Meanwhile, Phopho had appealed against his conviction and sentence.
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and others
(JR 2596/2018)  ZALCJHB 29 (4 March 2021) (A Van Niekerk J)
Scribante had contracted with several coal mines to haul topsoil and other dross to stockpiles. This material included some coal, which was later extracted. NUMSA contended that Scribante was involved in mining operations.
The legal significance of this claim was that, if it were true, Scribante operations would not fall within the scope of the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI), where the company was then located, because the council’s constitution specifically excluded the mining industry. NUMSA’s avowed motive for seeking re-demarcation was that wages are higher in the mining sector.