Answer to a question from a reader

The Labour Court still hasn't delivered judgment on my case that was heard six months ago. What can I do?

The short answer

Lodge a complaint with the Office of the Chief Justice.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

My case was heard at the Johannesburg Labour Court on 26 November 2020 but no judgment has been delivered. I have tried phoning the court but they just say that the judgment is not delivered. My lawyer has also written a letter to get the process moving along but nothing came of it. 

The long answer

According to the guidelines published by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng in 2014, judgments are supposed to be delivered within three months. He also warned that judges who took longer than six months to deliver a judgment would have their names published on the Office of the Chief Justice website.

But unfortunately, the reality is that the average time for judgments to be delivered is now six months, while in 2017, it was less than four months. The Pretoria High Court had the highest number of outstanding judgments in 2020, followed by the Johannesburg Labour Court.

Though six months would seem to be the new normal, you (or your lawyer) can make a complaint through email or telephone to the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) which will investigate at the court involved. 

These are the contact details:

Tel: +27 (0)11 838 2010
Fax: +27 (0)11 838 2023
E-mail: [email protected]

The Complaints Desk
Office of the Chief Justice
Private Bag X10

14th floor Edura House,
41 Fox Street,

You can also download an OCJ complaints form, fill it in and hand it in to the Complaints Officer at the court involved. The most senior manager at each court is designated the Complaints officer. The Complaints Officer must then investigate your complaint and come back to you.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on June 11, 2021, 1:09 p.m.

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