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F-bomb businessman was ordered to pay R30k for unfair dismissal. Seven months later he hasn’t paid

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Sheriff is moving at a snail’s pace to recover the money

Photo of company
Ismail Moosa was found, in October 2018, to have unfairly retrenched Michael Masocha. Seven months later his company has still not paid Masocha’s award. Photo: Tariro Washinyira
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The owner of a trucking company in Montague Gardens in Cape Town has been evading a ruling by the Bargaining Council for several months.

On 11 October, the council ordered Ismail Moosa, owner of Chill Speed Transport CC T/A Moosa’s Enterprises, to pay out Michael Masocha R30,532.56 for unfair dismissal. The amount had to be paid by 25 October.

Masocha was retrenched by Moosa on 2 August 2018. At the council hearing Masocha played a recording of his dismissal in which Moosa repeatedly swore at him, leading the arbitrator to write:

“I find that Moosa’s swearing and his use of abusive language towards the applicant to be highly inappropriate at the time of the applicant’s dismissal. … I find that this exacerbated [Masocha’s] dismissal and rendered it grossly unfair.”

Masocha is from Zimbabwe and was a driver at Moosa’s company for four years. He was dismissed in July after returning from annual leave and was told that the company had sold the truck he drove. He has been unemployed since.

Masocha then approached the council for help and a ruling was made in his favour.

The company missed the first deadline to pay Masocha’s settlement. The case was referred back for arbitration in December. In January, the bargaining council then ruled that one of the owner’s trucks, totaling R100,000, should be attached in order to recover the settlement amount as well as costs.

The sheriff’s office referred GroundUp to the South African Board for Sheriffs. Spokesperson for the board, Tasneem Hassan-Bey, confirmed that an award was given on 29 January. When asked why the sheriff had not yet acted on the award, she said: “The Board does not have authority to intervene in sheriff’s cases unless a formal complaint has been lodged with our office.”

Tzvi Brivik, representing Masocha, told GroundUp that his hands were tied because they had to wait for the sheriff to execute the order. “Moscha has made numerous attempts to assist the sheriff by monitoring the movements of the truck but the sheriff has not cooperated.”

Brivik said that the bargaining council’s ruling has the same legal standing as a court order. “We have had situations like this before. We are persistent and will assist our client to get justice,” he said.

Brivik said that Moosa had also used abusive language when his client approached the company to enquire when he would be paid.

In addition to the ruling on Masocha’s unfair dismissal, the bargaining council, in April, dealt with the allegation that the company had been unfairly deducting money from Masocha’s salary. GroundUp has seen a payslip where deductions were made for both UIF and for a provident fund. It was recently discovered that the company had not paid these contributions on behalf of Masocha and other workers.

The council then awarded Mashocha an additional R14,000. But the company also failed to pay this amount. At the hearing the company pleaded that it was having cash flow problems.

When GroundUp contacted Moosa via email, he wrote back: “It’s a free country and you can do whatever you want to. I will sue the newspaper for whatever they have. Michael must move on with his life like we all have. So fuck him.”

© 2019 GroundUp.
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TOPICS:  Labour

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