• July 10th, 2020

Nedbank dragged to court over hearing

Suspended head of Nedbank Namibia’s SME business Nelson Simasiku has turned to the labour court in a bid to stop a disciplinary hearing against him, which he claims was “unlawful and contrary to company policies”. 
Simasiku was suspended in December last year for alleged insubordination. Simasiku through his lawyer Christopher Mayumbelo wants the bank to stop the disciplinary hearing that was scheduled between 9-12 June, pending a resolution referred to the labour commissioner for conciliation and arbitration.  

“If the applicant is not granted an urgent interdict, the first respondent will get away with what is primarily wrongful and unlawful conduct and action in flagrant disregard of company policies, the labour act and rules of natural justice,” the lawyer argued in a founding affidavit filed in the labour court.  

“This application is brought to interdict the process, which is unlawful and un-procedural, and therefore damages are not an appropriate alternative remedy for the applicant.”  The lawyer claimed that if not granted an interdict, his client will suffer prejudice in the sense that his grievances will be disregarded and will not be in a position to properly answer the charges against him since he has been denied access to the investigation report, which is the basis of the charges against him.

 “No other effective remedy avails me. It is respectfully submitted that should the applicant’s rights be infringed, it cannot be compensated for such infringement or prejudice suffer by an appropriate order of cost or with a subsequent arbitration award,” he said.  He said due to the nature referred for determination in respect of the unfair labour practice dispute, he has no alternative redress. 
“If this application is set down in the ordinary course, it will most probably only be heard in a couple of months’ time by which stage the disciplinary hearing would have been finalised,” he said. 

“Any arbitration award in my favour at that stage would be meaningless and would be unable to enforce the rights that would arise from such an award since the disciplinary hearing in respect of which the rights were to be enforced would have finalised.” 
He said the bank’s fraud and corrupt activities policy stipulates that the names of employees dismissed for serious offences must be listed on the Register for Employees Dishonesty (red list) and such list is shared with all commercial banks in the country. 

“One of my charges is regarded serious and if found guilty at an unfair and un-procedural hearing, I will be added on the red list which will be damaging to my banking career as no other commercial bank in Namibia will employ me,” read the affidavit. Mayumbelo said his client enjoyed a sound working relationship since his employment in January 2014 until June 2019 when the relationship with his employers started to deteriorate. “My client was subjected to victimisation and unfair labour practices, which victimisation and unfair labour practises were set in motion by his supervisor (Richard Meeks) and later by other bank executive members,” Mayumbelo claimed in the court papers.Nedbank’s lawyer Gabriel Kopplinger has filed a notice intending to oppose the application's.
– ktjitemisa@nepc.com.n

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2020-06-11 10:09:16 | 29 days ago

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