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MBABANE – Long-serving PLE Chief Operations Officer (COO) Pat Vilakati’s contract came to an end as of July 31, 2020.

However, since Vilakati was not officially engaged on the possible extension of his contract, it means the organisation has automatically renewed it.
This is according to the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Executive Member Sicelo Mkhonta who handles Human Resources (HR) affairs of the organisation.

Drawn for comment on the issue of his contract expiration, Vilakati did not dispute the news but politely requested that Mkhonta, be contacted as he was the one responsible for the organisation’s HR affairs.
“I have no comment” said Vilakati briefly.

due to expire

On the other hand, Mkhonta said as far as he knew, the COO’s contract was due to expire at the end of this month.
However, he said he would have to verify tomorrow once in the office to determine the exact date on which Vilakati’s contract with the PLE expired.
“I do not really know if Vilakati’s contract expired, I thought it will expire in August. If it expired in July, it was automatically renewed for the same period as per labour laws,” said the executive member.

Explaining in detail the processes of contracts, Mkhonta said as per the labour laws, an organisation automatically renewed an employee ‘short-term contract, say 12 months, if they do not engage that particular individual a month before the contract came to an end.
“For our organisation, we usually offer long-term contracts, say five years, and as per the labour Act, the individual must be engaged on contractual terms three months before it elapsed, otherwise, or failure to do so meant the organisation had automatically renewed the person’s contract,” he said.

revisit labour laws

“I will revisit labour laws as it formed part of my expertise. If I give you a contract, say 12 months, it has a condition to renew or not. The employer has a month to engage the employee and if not engaged, automatically the contract had been renewed for the same period,” Mkhonta said.
He then explained that if Vilakati’s contract expired at the end of the past month, a contract document will be provided in writing for signing to formalise the process.

After having stated that the HR office had not officially engaged Vilakati, Mkhonta said perhaps the former and the PLE Chairman, Peter ‘Touch’ Magagula, had spoken over the matter. He also highlighted that Vilakati could not be threatened over dismissal because he was protected by labour laws.

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