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Pretoria - If your wife falls in love with a colleague, don’t bother trying to sue her boss.
“There should be a motto, ex curia Johannesburgensis semper aliquid novi - out of the Johannesburg High Court there’s always something new,” Judge Nigel Willis told a man who tried to do just that.
Dessie Ramnath brought an application to sue FirstRand Bank, which employed his wife, because she allegedly had an extramarital affair while working there.
In a claim Judge Willis called bizarre, Ramnath alleged the bank was therefore responsible for his pain and suffering resulting from the affair.
“I know that litigants can be imaginative in Johannesburg, but this one deserves a special prize,” Judge Willis said in the recent judgment. “There’s no such claim recognised in our common law... we are not going to start allowing awards of damages against employers because people fall in love at work. It happens all the time. It has happened, and will continue to happen until the cows come home.”
The bank objected to the claim, while Ramnath asked for a postponement. The judge refused, saying “there’s no point in prolonging the agony” before he dismissed the claim and ordered Ramnath to pay the bank’s costs.