The National Consumer Commissioner, Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, wants her contract extended, but the Johannesburg Labour Court’s judgment has quashed that notion.
Judge George LaGrange said he did not believe that Mohlala-Mulaudzi had demonstrated that her urgent application against Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies had acted in breach of contract in discussing with her his intention not to renew her contract.
“I am not satisfied that the applicant has demonstrated the existence of an enforceable contractual obligation which obliges the employer to consider specific factors when deciding whether or not to renew the applicant’s contract,” the judge said.
Mohlala-Mulaudzi said she was not going to simply accept the decision.
“I will be challenging the judgment,” she said.
“It is not clear why my application was dismissed. If the judge had said we had not made out a case, I would accept it, but we argued very well,” Mohlala-Mulaudzi added.
The costs of the case were split, and she had to pay 75 percent towards Davies’s legal costs, while the latter had to pay 25 percent of the costs.
“This also complicates matters because in most cases, the person who lost the case would have had to pay all the costs, but now they are split in this case. On what basis is he making them liable? There are many things in this cases (that are) inconsistent,” she said.
Mohlala-Mulaudzi was appointed commissioner from November 2010 until the end of her contract next month.
She said her contract stipulated that two months before her contract ended, she was supposed to have been informed about whether it would be renewed.
Mohlala-Mulaudzi also claimed her employment was performance-based, yet Davies had not carried out his statutory duties to conduct her performance management appraisals or evaluations.
However, in February, Davies had given her a letter informing her that her contract would not be renewed. Her post was also advertised.
She took the minister to court, and the letter was declared invalid. The recruitment process was also halted until there was consultation during which she would be informed where she stood with her contract.
Mohlala-Mulaudzi said in her application that there had not been any consultation made, nor had there been performance appraisals.
She also said no one had spoken to her about her contract even though it was coming to an end. She also alleged Davies had been biased and not a suitable person to make a decision relating to the renewal or non-renewal of her contract.