Limpopo Education awards man R650k damages after his application was rejected on ‘dubious’ grounds
Johannesburg – A Limpopo education official got a super R650,000 from the department after his candidacy for a prominent position was dropped for questionable reason.
Mapitsane Davis Moganedi has been assigned a state vehicle to carry out his duties as deputy chief education specialist in the southern district of Sekhukhune.
But, as the Limpopo Department of Education referred him to arbitration, his application for a post of Chief Education Specialist was not considered as he did not attach a copy. of his driver’s license. Moganedi took his employer to the Education Labor Relations Board (ELRC) for arbitration, claiming unfair labor practices.
The public education sector was rocked by a job-for-sale scandal five years ago. An official investigation confirmed that suitably qualified candidates had been snubbed for jobs in parts of the country following shady relations between officials and trade unionists.
Moganedi found it doubtful that he had not been shortlisted for a position he qualified for and had already served for 36 months.
Samuel Nethengwe, a personnel practitioner at the department, argued during arbitration that he disqualified Moganedi’s application because it did not contain a copy of the driver’s license. But Moganedi fired back and argued the job posting made no mention of a copy of the driver’s license.
He told the arbitration hearing that in fact the department knew he had a driver’s license because a copy was in his official file. The department also assigned him a state vehicle.
Referee MP Shai ruled in favor of Moganedi.
“The driver’s license is not mentioned in a list of documents, copies of which must accompany the application,” said Shai.
“Was this done by design or as a result of oversight?” I go with the first one. I therefore consider that the driver’s license is a requirement for the position but not a necessary criterion for screening.
“If that was the case, the ad should have said so, as it did with other demands,” Shai added.
A 2008 public education sector collective agreement also protected Moganedi, Shai found. He did not list a copy of the driver’s license as one of the requirements for the screening of candidates.
Shai said, “If Mr. Nethengwe had applied himself to this fact, he would not have acted like a robot in screening applications.”
Shai ruled that Moganedi was subject to an unfair labor practice by not being screened. “I order the Respondent to pay the Applicant compensation in the amount of R657,879, equivalent to 12 months’ salary he would have received had he been appointed,” Shai said.