Beleaguered SAA BRPs take retrenchment battle to Labour Appeal Court
JOHANNESBURG – The Labour Court ruled in favour of SA Airways (SAA) and its Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs), Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana, for leave to appeal to the Labour Appeal Court.
Unions earlier this month claimed a Labour Court victory after they brought a case to halt a retrenchment process at the troubled airline.
The SAA BRPs said in a statement on Monday that they were “pleased to note that Judge Andre van Niekerk has granted leave to appeal against the whole of the Labour Court’s judgment delivered on 8 May 2020 to the Labour Appeal Court”.
The BRPs and SAA had contended that given the disputes of law that there was a reasonable prospect that the facts would receive different treatment by the Labour Appeal Court.
They argued that the matter was of significant public interest and importance and that the judgment in the Labour Court was in conflict with an earlier judgment of the same court.
“In granting leave to appeal, the court maintained its view of the proper interpretation of S136 of the Companies Act and while accepting that there were conflicting judgments added that the judgment raised constitutional issues relating to fair labour practices.
“In granting leave to appeal it is implicit that another court may come to a different decision than that of the Labour Court,” the court said.
The BPRs said they would seek an urgent date for the matter to be heard by the Labour Court.
SAA’s BRPs are feeling the heat after it was revealed earlier this month that the process of saving the national carrier had drowned millions of rand, with no final rescue plan in sight after five months.
The standing committee on public accounts in Parliament last week told the BRPs to produce a complete business rescue plan within 25 days and to “shape up or ship out”.