Labour Court throws out Labour Minister's bid to overturn decision

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant tried to remove Johan Crouse after he brought a court application to deregister Ceppwawu.

FILE: Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – The Labour Appeal Court has thrown out an appeal brought by the Labour Department to an earlier ruling overturning Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant's decision to remove union registrar Johan Crouse from his position.

Oliphant tried to remove Crouse after he brought a court application to deregister chemical workers union, The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) because it had not provided its financial reports for a period of four years.

Ceppwawu is currently split amid claims that leaders are fighting over billions of rands worth of workers' funds.

In its ruling, the Labour Court said the minister was wrong to try and remove the union registrar and that he had followed the correct proceedings when trying to deregister Ceppwawu.

The Public Servants Association represented Crouse.

The association's Leon Gilbert says: “The whole case is about political interference in the administrative function performed by a functionary of the state.”

The Labour Department had said it was removing Crouse because he had refused to obey an instruction from Minister Oliphant.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)