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IS IT INDUSTRIAL COURT OF ESWATINI OR SD?

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MBABANE – Did SMAWU’s legal representative jump the gun by renaming the Industrial Court of Swaziland to Industrial Court of Eswatini?

This is even before there is a legal instrument for the country’s name change. SMAWU is an acronym for Swaziland Manufacturing and Allied Workers Union (SMAWU). The lawyer has filed an application with a heading: ‘Industrial Court of Eswatini’, which is now being challenged on that basis. This is in the matter between SMAWU and the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA).

Argues

ATUSWA argues that the Industrial Relations Act conferred exclusive jurisdiction over such matters upon the Industrial Court of Swaziland not the Industrial Court of Eswatini. In this matter, SMAWU wants the Industrial Court of Eswatini to stay a judgment which was issued by the Industrial Court of Swaziland in favour of ATUSWA. ATUSWA’s lawyer Thabiso Mavuso argued that while the judgment sought to be stayed was issued by the Industrial Court of Swaziland, the present proceeding (application for stay) had been filed before the ‘Industrial Court of Eswatini’. He averred that this was conspicuous from the heading of the case which reads thus: ‘In the Industrial Court of Eswatini’.
“Respondent (ATUSWA) submits that the Industrial Relations Act No 1/2000 (as amended) confers exclusive jurisdiction over such matters upon the Industrial Court of Swaziland. This in terms of Section 8 of the Act,” submitted the lawyer.

Mavuso contended that no other court or tribunal might usurp the powers exclusively conferred upon the Industrial Court of Swaziland. “It is submitted, therefore that the Industrial Court of Eswatini lacks jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter,” submitted lawyer Mavuso. It was further his submission that, even if the Industrial Court of Eswatini would have concurrent jurisdiction with the Industrial Court of Swaziland, it would still lack the jurisdiction to stay the judgment of the Industrial Court of Swaziland. “Since the judgment of April 26, 2018 was granted by the Industrial Court of Swaziland, only that court can stay its own judgment and not any other court such as the Industrial Court of Eswatini,” contended Mavuso. He told the court that this was in terms of Section 19(4) of the Industrial Relations Act which provides as follows:  ‘The noting of an appeal under Subsection (1) shall not stay the execution of the court order unless the court on application, directs otherwise.’

 

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