Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court dismissed an application on Thursday by a researcher who sought an order stating that he was employed by the University of Zululand in 2008.
Mpumelelo Mbatha applied for leave to appeal against a decision by the Labour Appeal Court, which found that the university was not his employer during June 2008, and was therefore not obliged to pay his salary.
In 1984, Mbatha was employed by the university as a researcher in the isiZulu dictionary project. From June 2008, Mbatha's salary was not paid.
He filed an application in the Labour Court to compel the university to pay his salary, arguing that his employment had not been terminated.
The university contended that Mbatha’s employment had been taken over by Isikhungo Sesichazamazwi SesiZulu (ISS), in terms of a tripartite agreement between the university, ISS, and the Pan SA Language Board (PanSALB).
Mbatha was also appointed as the CEO of ISS.
The Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court found Mbatha could not claim payment of a salary from the university because he was no longer an employee.
This was because his contract had been validly transferred to ISS in terms of the tripartite agreement, and with Mbatha’s consent.
The Constitutional Court denied him leave to appeal as the matter did not raise a constitutional issue.