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Disgraced Khomotso Phahlane loses Labour Court appeal against dismissal from SAPS

By Marianne Thamm 12 August 2020

Former acting national police commissioner General Kgomotso Phahlane. (Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)

Judge Andre van Niekerk said the Labour Court did not have the jurisdiction to entertain Phahlane’s claim for relief.

Former South African Police Service national commissioner Khomotso Phahlane on Tuesday 11 August lost a Labour Court bid to challenge his dismissal from SAPS.

Phahlane, who faces charges relating to procurement fraud totalling R84-million linked to a “blue lights tender” for Gauteng police vehicles, was fired from the SAPS on 30 July.

He was found guilty in a SAPS disciplinary hearing of “elements of dishonesty, which justify a sanction of dismissal”.

In May, Phahlane lost his court bid to halt his SAPS disciplinary hearing. In that matter, Phahlane requested the court to “exempt” him for failing to adhere to internal remedies provided for in SAPS regulations.

He brought the application against the national police commissioner, the minister of police, the minister of public service and administration, advocate Terry Motau and the Public Service Commission.

On Tuesday, Judge Andre van Niekerk said the Labour Court did not have the jurisdiction to entertain Phahlane’s claim for relief. 

Van Niekerk said there was no provision in the Labour Relations Act in terms of which an order could be sought declaring a dismissal unlawful or invalid.

Phahlane, in the Labour Court matter, had argued that there had been “no justification for instituting proceedings” in terms of Regulation 9 of the South African Police Service Act.

Van Niekerk said that the CCMA or a bargaining council had the jurisdiction to arbitrate a dispute of this particular nature and dismissed Phahlane’s application.

Unlike in the High Court matter, Phahlane was not ordered to pay costs.

Phahlane currently faces charges relating to procurement fraud totalling R84-million and linked to a “blue lights tender” for Gauteng police vehicles.

His co-accused are Gauteng police head General Deliwe de Lange, Major-General Nombhuruza Napo, Lieutenant-General Ramahlapi Mokwena, national divisional commissioner for supply chain management, and Brigadier James Ramanjalum, head of procurement at SAPS. The case is continuing. DM

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