Dismissals with immediate effect: a different approach
The Mtati judgment was recently considered in the judgment in Mark Michael Coetzee v The Zeitz Mocca Foundation Trust and Another. During the course of a meeting between the applicant employee in this matter and representatives of his employer that took place on 15 May 2018, the employer’s representative handed the applicant a document, in terms of which he was suspended, as well as a letter in terms of which he was given the opportunity to respond to certain disciplinary charges brought against him. It was made clear that this opportunity constituted a disciplinary hearing as envisaged in the Code of Good Practice: Dismissal. A further meeting then took place between the applicant and the employer’s representatives on 16 May 2018. What occurred at this meeting is the subject of dispute.
The applicant then approached the Labour Court on an urgent basis seeking the following relief:
The relief sought was based on the allegation that, at the meeting on 16 May 2018, the applicant had resigned with immediate effect. The court refused to grant the applicant the relief sought. It did so on the basis that the employer had not, on the facts as established in the affidavits, accepted the dismissal with immediate effect.
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