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MBABANE – Dejected and disappointed are the two adjectives that can be used to describe the reaction of civil servants after the court issued an order stoping  their intended strike.

The strike action by public sector associations was slated for today. Industrial Court Judge President Sifiso Nsibande said in terms of Section 89 of the Industrial Relations Act, the Minister of Labour and Social Security was entitled to approach the court. Section 89 (1) provides; “If any strike action or lockout is threatened or taken, whether in conformity with this Act or otherwise, and the minister considers that national interest is threatened or affected thereby, he may make an application to the court for an injunction restraining the parties from commencing or from continuing such action, and the court may make such order thereon as it considers fit having regard to the national interest.”

The judge president said the order that was issued by Judge Dumisani Mazibuko on September 23, 2018 did not curtail the minister from approaching the court. The judge ruled that in terms of Section 90 of the Act, no strike action should take place. Section 90 (1) reads as follows: “A person, organisation federation or a party to a dispute shall not continue or take  strike action or institute a lockout while proceedings in relation to the dispute to which the action relates are pending before court or an arbitrator. There is a matter that is pending in this court. In terms of Section 90 (1), no strike should take place and there respondents are therefore prohibited from continuing with the strike action,” ruled the court

He also directed that the proceedings (application filed by government) be stayed until the High Court makes a finding of the constitutionality question whether the right to be heard was absolute or not. During the argument of the matter, one of the State’s submissions was that the right to be heard was not absolute in the country.” Attorney General Sifiso Mashampu Khumalo averred that Section 90 was applicable in this matter as it was pending in court.  He submitted that since the matter had been registered, given a case number and called, it meant that it was already in court.


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