SELEBI-PHIKWE: The Department of Labour has referred the case between Nico United and former coach Paul Gundani after arbitration failed on Thursday.
The coach is challenging his dismissal and the club's failure to pay his terminal benefits.
The department ordered the club to pay or reinstate the coach, but the Nico management, represented at the hearing by chairman Eitlhomilwe Raditshego and secretary Chakaloba Kgosidialwa, contested the ruling. The matter has now been referred to the Industrial Court.
The bad blood between Gundani and Raditshego can be traced back to last November when the coach threatened to leave the club accusing the chairperson of abuse of office. The former trainer reported the club to the Department of Labour last week after he was dismissed last month.
Gundani was recruited by the previous Nico committee and has not been seeing eye to eye with some of his current bosses.
The club released the coach after accusing him of failure to obey instructions and reporting for duty late after the Christmas break.
Gundani complained that he was unfairly dismissed and was never paid his terminal benefits.
"The contract that I had with the club runs until August 2011 but it has been terminated. They did not pay me my three months notice, repatriation fee and leave days.
When I left, I was given a month's salary that was said to be for the good job that I did for Nico. It was a slap in the face," he said after the hearing.
He explained that during the hearing, the labour officer handling the case said accusations against the coach were baseless.
The mediator observed that the charges were framed by someone who hated Gundani.
Gundani said he thought the club would swallow its pride and negotiate with him outside court but he was wrong.
"Raditshego did not even show respect during the hearing as he continued attacking me. He failed to produce any evidence to support his charges against me. I was the only one who had evidence," said Gundani.
He stated that it is untrue that he was given his benefits, as Raditshego claimed. He mentioned that he feels sorry for the club because it is the one that will incur unnecessary costs due to the attitude of some individuals.
Gundani said he has advised current coach, Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo to be cautious. Raditshego said he decided to take their bout to the Industrial Court as the club matter was not properly handled by the labour office.
Nico will be back at the labour offices on Thursday after Gundani's former assistant, Peter Muchina also contested his dismissal.