SC 26-13 - MOYO & 13 OTHERS v HOFFMAN & ANOTHER

SHADRECK MOYO & 13 ORS

v

  1. J L HOFFMAN (2) CENTRAL AFRICAN BATTERIES (PRIVATE) LIMITED

 

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

MALABA DCJ, ZIYAMBI JA & OMERJEE AJA

HARARE, SEPTEMBER 17, 2012 & JUNE 19, 2013

 

The appellant in person

Mrs N Moyo, for the respondent

 

MALABA DCJ:  At the end of hearing argument for both parties the appeal was dismissed with costs. It was indicated at the time that reasons for the decision would follow in due course. These are they.

On 26 November 2009 the appellants issued out summons in the High Court claiming against the respondents payment of damages, in the sum of US$3 500 000.00, a further sum of US$3 500 000.00 for outstanding wages and salaries and compensation for loss of earnings for a period of 12 years, interest on these sums at the rate of 30 per cent per annum and costs of suit. On 16 February 2012 the High Court granted a judgment of absolution from the instance. This caused the appellants to approach this court for redress.

The appellants were employees of the second respondent which is a company duly registered in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe.  The first respondent is the director of the company.  On 3 and 4 December 1997, the appellants participated in an unlawful collective job action.

On 5 January 1998 the appellants were suspended from employment without pay or benefits in terms of s 3(1) (a) of the Labour Relations (General Conditions of Employment) (Termination of Employment) Regulations, S.I. 371 of 1985, pending an application to the Ministry of Labour for authority to dismiss them.

On 6 January 1998, the second respondent, applied to the Labour Relations Officer for an order terminating the employment of 15 employees who had embarked on the unlawful collective job action.  A hearing was held.  On 20 July 1998, the Labour Relations Officer ordered the reinstatement of all the employees without loss of pay and benefits.  The second respondent appealed to a Senior Labour Relations Officer.  On 11 January 1999, the Senior Labour Relations Officer allowed the appeal.  The determination made by the Labour Relations Officer was set aside in its entirety.  The employer was granted  permission to dismiss the appellants with effect from the date of suspension and was ordered to pay their terminal benefits within 14 days of receipt of the order.

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