media Release 24/03/17
Former City of Cape Town, Arts and Culture Manager wins unfair dismissal case against the City.
Former City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Manager, Zayd Minty, who was dismissed in late February 2016, recently won his unfair dismissal case at the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) against the City of Cape Town.
Minty had been dismissed by the City for planning to take his staff to Houwhoek in the Overberg, for an annual planning session and teambuilding, without following due process. City policy is that when on official business, staff need permission to leave the boundaries of the city.
The arbitration award stipulates that Minty’s dismissal was substantively unfair, and that it should be substituted with a written warning instead. The City was furthermore ordered to reinstate Minty and to pay his salary for a 12-month period during which he had been unfairly dismissed.
Minty says, “I am really pleased by the outcome of the Arbitration, I feel vindicated and relieved that justice has prevailed. Serving the City of Cape Town and its citizens was my passion and my pride – to have been summarily dismissed, unfairly, was a tremendous shock and humiliation to me. I was left with nothing – no job, no means to support myself and a tarnished reputation. It was an infringement on my dignity and it threw my life into disarray.”
Despite the emphatic conclusion by the Arbitrator that the dismissal of Minty was unfair, the City has subsequently elected to challenge the award by instituting review proceedings in the Labour Court, a process that may take as long as eighteen months to resolve, which will cause the municipality to incur considerable additional legal expenses in what has already been a protracted dispute.
Minty’s law firm, Jacobs and Associates, has said that “whilst we respect that the City is legally entitled to challenge the award, we cannot help but to consider it disappointing that the City is not abiding by what we consider to have been a fair and just outcome of this dispute.”
“It seems unfortunate that further public funds are being expended on this dispute, when there has never been any allegation of dishonesty or deliberate impropriety on my behalf. I have taken full responsibility for any mistakes I may have made and I have sought to express my remorse for any unintentional wrongdoing on countless occasions – I deserve to have my name cleared. Whilst I regret the course of action that the City is taking, I remain confident that justice will take its course and that the award will ultimately be upheld by the Labour Court,” concludes Minty.
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