Bloemfontein - The National Lotteries Board must reinstate 10 workers dismissed after a 2008 dispute with then CEO Vevek Ram, the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday.

A majority decision by the Constitutional Court held their dismissal was automatically unfair.

The court further found the workers' conduct at the time constituted lawful activities of a union.

The court delivered judgment upholding an appeal by the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers Union (Nupsaw), representing the 10 workers.

Nupsaw challenged the dismissals on the grounds that they were automatically unfair under the Labour Relations Act, because the workers' conduct constituted participation in lawful union activities.

The workers in 2008 send a letter to the board in which they raised grievances against Ram.

The dispute further led to a petition against the former CEO and a vote of no confidence.

When some workers refused to withdraw the petition they were dismissed after a disciplinary process.

The workers were unsuccessful in their appeal to the Labour Court and in the Supreme Court of Appeal. - Sapa