Limpopo Education awards man R650k in damages after his job application was rejected for ’dodgy’ reasons
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Johannesburg - A Limpopo education official has scored a cool R650 000 from the department after his application for a top post was binned for a dodgy reason.
Mapitsane Davis Moganedi was allocated a state vehicle to carry out his duties as a deputy chief educational specialist in the Sekhukhune South District.
But, as the Limpopo Department of Education submitted at arbitration, his application for a chief educational specialist post was not considered because he did not attach a driving licence copy. Moganedi dragged his employer to the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) for arbitration, arguing unfair labour practice.
The public education sector was rocked by a jobs for sale scandal five years ago. An official investigation confirmed that suitably qualified candidates were snubbed for jobs in parts of the country following shady dealings between officials and unionists.
Moganedi found it dodgy that he was not shortlisted for a post he qualified for and had previously acted in for 36 months.
Samuel Nethengwe, personnel practitioner at the department, submitted at the arbitration that he disqualified Moganedi’s application because it did not include a copy of the driving licence. But Moganedi hit back, and submitted that the job advertisement made no mention of a driving licence copy.
He told the arbitration hearing that, in fact, the department knew he had a driving licence because a copy was in his official file. The department also allocated him a state vehicle.
Arbitrator MP Shai found in Moganedi’s favour.
“The driving licence is not mentioned in a list of documents of which copies should accompany the application,” said Shai.
“Was this done by design or as a result of an oversight? I go with the former. My view therefore is that the driving licence is a requirement for the position but not a necessary criterion for sifting out.
“If that was the case, the advertisement should have said so, as it did with other requirements,” Shai added.
A 2008 public education sector collective agreement also protected Moganedi, Shai found. It did not list a driving licence copy as one of requirements for candidate shortlisting.
Said Shai: “Had Mr Nethengwe applied his mind to this fact, he would not have acted like a robot in sifting-out the applications.”
Shai ruled that Moganedi was subjected to an unfair labour practice by not being shortlisted. “I order the respondent to pay to the applicant compensation in the sum of R657 879 being an equivalent of 12 months’ salary he would have received had he been appointed,” said Shai.