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A novel case of a retired civil servant who accrued 468 leave days

Sello Reuben Leboho maintained that he had to be paid R400 000 for his leave accruals.Image: Supplied

Sello Reuben Leboho maintained that he had to be paid R400 000 for his leave accruals.Image: Supplied

Published Jun 17, 2022

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The Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism is embroiled in a court battle with a retiree who amassed a whopping 468 leave days during employment.

Sello Reuben Leboho maintained that he had to be paid R400 000 for his leave accruals, but the department paid him for 271 days.

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He sued the department at the Polokwane Regional Court on grounds that he was entitled to payment for the rest of his leave accruals.

Leboho lost at the regional court, but tasted victory on appeal at the Polokwane High Court last year. The court ruled that he was entitled to payment for all 468 leave days.

Still opposed to paying Leboho R400 000 for the accrued leave days, the department headed to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). Details of the civil case have emerged from a bulletin of enrolled matters at the Bloemfontein-based SCA.

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The department will build its case on an argument that the Limpopo High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear Leboho’s application.

A dispute relating to payment of leave accruals should be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution system of the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC), the department will argue.

Leboho should have launched his grievance at the PSCBC, the department argued. The SCA will have to rule on “whether the court a quo had jurisdiction to entertain the dispute”, its bulletin said.

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The department was also aggrieved that the high court allegedly overlooked a resolution adopted by the PSCBC on July 1, 2000.

Clause 7(3)(a) of this resolution, which the department will argue in the SCA had to be applied in the matter, regulated the capping of leave days that the public sector can pay for.

The SCA bulletin said, on this score, the court will be called to decide “whether the respondent (Leboho) was entitled at the time of his retirement to payment of 468 leave accruals earned prior to 1 July 2000 instead of 271 days paid to him by the appellant”.

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A bench of the SCA will hear the novel matter in August.

@BonganiNkosi87

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