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Chemical, Energy, Paper,Printing, Wood And Allied Workers Union and Others v Seathlolo and Others (06046/2016) [2016] ZAGPPHC 753

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Chemical, Energy, Paper,Printing, Wood And Allied Workers Union and Others v Seathlolo and Others (06046/2016) [2016] ZAGPPHC 753

30th August 2016

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This application is for the setting aside of an interim interdict granted by Modiba, J on 15 April 2016. The application is brought by the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union (hereinafter referred to as “the union”). The second applicant is Mr Simon Mofokeng (the General Secretary of the union - hereinafter referred to as “Mofokeng”). Mofokeng is the deponent to the founding affidavit. The third applicant is Mr Thamsanqa Mhlongo (the elected president of the union - hereinafter referred to as “Mhlongo”). (Where appropriate, I will refer to the three applicants collectively as “the applicants”.)

The first respondent is Mr Seatlholo. He is the union’s former General Secretary. The second respondent is the union’s former treasurer. The first respondent was summarily dismissed on 21 April 2016. The second respondent was expelled from the union on 1 June 2016. Seatlholo’s dismissal (according to Mofokeng) is a direct result of a resolution taken at an NEC meeting of the union on 14 January 2016 to institute disciplinary action against Seathlolo and others. The third, fourth, seventh, eight, tenth, eleventh and twelfth respondents have also been expelled from the union. The sixth respondent was suspended on 1 June 2016. The ninth respondent was dismissed. Of the 12 respondents only the fifth respondent therefore remains a member in good standing.

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In essence this application is for an order to set aside the order made by Modiba, J (dated 15 April 2016) interdicting the union from convening a meeting of its National Executive Committee (hereinafter referred to as “the NEC”) pending the determination of the relief sought in Part A of the main application. The application is opposed.

The applicants are seeking to discharge the order primarily on the basis that, as a result of material changes in circumstances that occurred subsequent to the granting of the order on 15 April 2016, the balance of convenience no longer favours the interim interdict. As will be pointed out hereinbelow, it is the respondents’ submission that this allegation is false and without any merit. With reference to the judgment of Modiba, J, the respondents submitted that the interim order was granted on the premise that fraud was committed by Mofokeng at the time when the resolutions were taken.

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