The ruling by the Labour Court today, which set aside the dismissal of Steve Motale, has laid bare lies peddled by The Citizen when it sacked its editor Steven Motale on 28 November 2016.
In a statement sent to staff, where the newspaper’s senior management announced the contract termination of its previously suspended editor, the newspaper claimed it had terminated the employment contract of Motale with immediate effect. The statement said Motale was suspended from his duties pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary process.
“The Citizen concurs with the finding against Motale, that his ongoing employment at The Citizen has become untenable, as a result of this breakdown, which was solely due to Motale’s actions and failure to follow procedures,” the newspaper said in a statement which was subsequently published on its online platform and print editions.
However, judgement delivered today in the Labour Court shows that Motale was dismissed without being subjected to a disciplinary hearing chaired by an independent chairperson as stipulated in his contract of employment. Judge DH Gush said: “It is declared that the decision of the respondent to terminate the applicant’s contract of employment is a breach of the employment contract read with the first respondent’s disciplinary code procedures.”
Judge Gush added: “The termination of the applicant’s employment is set aside and the applicant reinstated in the same position he was in at the date of the termination of his contract.”
The judge ordered The Citizen to pay Motale’s costs. In his response Motale said he felt vindicated by the court’s finding. “I’ve always maintained I was innocent and that I was sacked without being afforded the opportunity to defend myself in a properly constituted forum.”
I’ve just been vindicated by Labour Court. My unlawful dismissal has been set aside. Thanks to all who supported me. The struggle continues
— Steve Motale (@SteveMotale) January 27, 2017
READ ALSO: The real reason The Citizen fired Motale