Labour Department sacks registrar Johan Crouse

The department says Crouse was fired for gross insubordination.

FILE: Mildred Oliphant. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Department on Friday announced it had fired its registrar, Johan Crouse, for gross insubordination and not because Minister Mildred Oliphant was trying to stop him from placing the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) into administration.

Business Day on Friday reported that Oliphant had removed Crouse from his post after he applied to the Labour Court to put the union under administration because it has not filed its financial documents since 2010.

The department's Sithembele Tshwete said Crouse did not have the power to act independently.

"He took a decision without even consulting with the minister or the director general, nor the deputy director general that he reports to."

But Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) president Koos Bezuidenhout said this was really about the internal politics of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

"At this point in time we believe that there was untoward pressure so as intervening this case which of course would put a lot of things in a different perspective."

The department said Crouse had simply refused to follow instructions.