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CAMAU, Kao battle spills over courts

Lerato Matheka

Construction and Mineworkers Associations Union (CAMAU) exemption case file against Storm Mountain Diamond and Ministry of Labour and Employment has allegedly disappeared from the Labour Appeal Court, Advocate Patsa Mohapi revealed to Newsday.

Mohapi told this paper that on Wednesday when they went to appear before the court received shocking news that their case file was missing.

“This file is of a case we filled in 2018 and it was shocking to learn on Wednesday that all the information contained in that file was missing.

“This was a shocker because on Wednesday we were appearing before court following the postponement of our exemption case where my clients CAMAU has sued the Kao Mine and the ministry of labour for illegal issuance and acquisition of an exemption certificate,” Mohapi explained.

Mohapi said following a tip-off that Storm Mountain Diamond known as Kao Mine was planning to change its trading name, they approached the Labour Court and filed an urgent inter-loggery application barring the company from moving ahead with the name change plan.

He indicated that their fear was a frustration of two pending cases lodged against the company to pay its employees overtime pay.

Mohapi revealed that his clients have a pending case before the Labour Appeal court.

“We have a pending case where we have sued the ministry of labour and Kao mine that the mine is operating under illegal hours.

“Employees work 12 hours which is outside the labour code standards, further, with a pending court case of 2016 before the labour court, the ministry of labour issued an exemption to Kao mine which we are challenging saying it was issued illegally,” he explained.

He added that last year the union filed fresh application with the Labour Appeal Court.

“The date for the appeal was set for hearing last month but never proceeded because of a lawyer from Weber claiming he was representing both the mine and the government. We demanded that he show proof that he was indeed representing the government but he didn’t have anything to show. The matter was postponed with the said lawyer saying he was going to get a letter. The matter was postponed to Wednesday 9 October, this is when upon appearing before the court we were told that our file was missing and were asked to resubmit all information.

“Following that turn of events, we received a tip off that the Mine was moving to change its trading name so we challenged that asking the court to stay the plans until all court pending issues were heard to completion. Our fear is that should the name change succeed, all cases will be delayed further.

He indicated that this was the second case file to disappear in the hands of the Labour Court.

“The first case file to disappear was between Lemeke and 51 other and Kao Mine where the employees were suing for overtime pay. The Clients were faced with a burden of resubmitting the files afresh following the mysterious disappearance.

“This file that has gone missing is still a matter of Kao Mine and its employees and it has begun to raise eyebrows on why Kao related case files go missing,” Advocate Mohau said.

CAMAU has since written to the Law and Constitutional Ministry requesting a meeting with the Principal Secretary to establish an inquiry to their missing case files.

When contacted on the plans to change names, Mohale Ralikariki, the Mine’s Corporate Chief Executive Officer confirmed with this paper of receiving court papers of the urgent application speaking about the name change.

“It came as a shock to us because we don’t know where the allegations are stemming from. If the company was planning to change its name them it would be made public, however, mme we don’t have any plans of changing the company name. We did receive court papers bearing the same contents of a name change, but I assure you, there is no such a thing,” he said.

Meanwhile Mabohlokoa Mapikitla, the judicial spokesperson told Newsday there has never been a report of missing case filed from any of the courts.

“I am not aware of a missing file from CAMAU and since I assumed office last November, I have never heard of any complaints of files missing from registrars of any courts,” she said.

She returned to this reporter noting that the registrar of the Labour Court indicated that the first case was in the hands of the Court with only case CD recording not in the file.

“She is trying to investigate what could have happened with the file, but she promised to return to me with clear information,” Mapikitla said.

By the time the paper went to print, the file case number LC/REV/05/2018 was still untraceable.

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