Mmegi Online :: Axed truckers sue for P120m
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Last Updated
Friday 24 November 2017, 17:23 pm.
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Axed truckers sue for P120m

A case in which 34 drivers are demanding money totalling over P120 million from their former employer, Grindrod Petrologistics, might be settled out of court.
By Innocent Selatlhwa Tue 10 Oct 2017, 15:55 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Axed truckers sue for P120m








Kgosietsile Ngakaagae, who represents the applicants, yesterday told Justice Leatile Dambe that they had agreed with the defence attorney to explore the possibility of settling the matter out of court. The truckers are challenging the decision to fire them in 2016 over alleged petrol theft.

“We have agreed that we should meet and discuss a possibility of a settlement. We also want to narrow down the issues and possibly cut the length of the case if it happens that it goes to trial,” he said. Dambe granted the request in a brief court session. Besides compensation for unfair dismissal, the 34 truckers also demand pay for overtime and gratuities amongst other things. The claims are divided with one with the lowest demand wanting P22,000 and the highest demand being just under P4 million. The amounts are equivalent to their monthly salaries until they reach the retirement age.

According to their court papers, the plaintiffs were dismissed from employment which dismissals the truckers maintain were wrongful, unfair and unlawful as the disciplinary panel was manifestly biased.

“The disciplinary

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panel admitted hearsay evidence of video surveillance against the plaintiffs which was then used to find guilty and to dismiss the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs were not availed copies of the alleged video evidence used against them and on the basis which they were dismissed. Same were not availed to them for purposes of confirmation or authentication. That was especially important considering the defendants admissions during the hearing that the video evidence had been edited,” reads the papers.

Ngakaagae also argues that his clients were found guilty based on suppositions and speculation and lacked evidential grounding. He also states that no proof of loss of petrol was adduced by the defendants to justify their claims of misappropriation of employer’s property.

“On the basis of the afore-going. the hearings were both procedurally and substantively unfair. The termination of employment of the plaintiffs was therefore wrongful and unlawful,” Ngakaagae argues.

He also argues that his clients are entitled to be paid for overtime hours and also be compensated for working on rest days, which the company owes them.

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