The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has won its case against an employee who was fired for dishonesty.
Benneth Mathebula, who was a junior investigator, took sick leave in 2020. However, on the day he claimed he was sick, his supervisor saw him at an EFF march.
On his return, he was asked why he had been dishonest about his whereabouts. He said he was indeed sick that day, however, he felt better after taking medication.
Sars started a disciplinary process and dismissed him. He took the revenue service to the CCMA, that ruled in his favour, saying his dismissal was unfair.
Sars appealed the ruling at the labour court, and it ruled Mathebula’s dismissal was fair.
Labour lawyer Patrick Deale says employees owe their employer a degree of good faith.
“The basic principle is that an employee owes a duty of good faith and if he or she does anything that is dishonest, misleading, or any varieties of dishonesty towards his employer, that is serious misconduct, and a dismissable offence. On the facts of this case, it was found that he took the day off, presumably because he was sick, and the Labour Court found different to what the arbitrator found, that if you are well enough to be at a march, you’re well enough to be at work.”
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