TREDCOR (ZIMBABWE) (PVT) LTD
SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, SEPTEMBER 24 & OCTOBER 1, 2013
The applicant in person
Adv. Mahere, for the respondent
Before: PATEL JA, in Chambers
The applicant in this matter was employed by the respondent as a Branch Manager. On 11 March 2011 he received a letter of final warning from a Senior Branch Manager (Mrs. Maisiri) arising from an allegation of dishonesty pertaining to an altered order for fuel. Subsequently, at 15.35 p.m. on 5 April 2011, he was given notice to attend a disciplinary hearing to be held on 8 April 2011 at 10.00 a.m. in relation to the same matter. The notice was written by the General Branch Manager (Mr. Goddard) who explained that the hearing was necessitated by “a conflict in the facts provided” to him. On the date of the hearing, Goddard presided over the proceedings. Thereafter, the applicant was found guilty on the allegations levelled against him and consequently dismissed.
The applicant then filed an application for review of the disciplinary proceedings before the Labour Court in Case No. LC/REV/H/36/11. (It is not clear from the papers why he did not appeal against his dismissal). The grounds for review were that: he was given inadequate notice of the hearing, that the Goddard was both the complainant and adjudicator, that the minute taker was a junior, and that he was punished twice for the same offence. The Labour Court considered and rejected all of these grounds as being without merit and dismissed the application for review with costs. A subsequent application to the same court for leave to appeal was also dismissed in October 2012.
The applicant now seeks leave to appeal to this Court on the following four grounds: he was punished twice for the same offence; he was not given three days to prepare for the disciplinary hearing; the complainant was also the hearing authority; the Labour Court ordered costs against him even though they were not sought by the respondent. With respect to the first ground, he contends that the initial letter of warning constituted a final penalty for the offence in question and was never withdrawn or set aside before the hearing was instituted.