To restore the employer’s right to be heard in a fair manner Venter AJ reviewed and set aside both the recommendation and decision to impose a fine. ¬†They were regarded as one continuous decision-making process that could not be allowed to stand.

Glencore Operations SA (Pty) Ltd Coal Division v Minister of Mineral Resources (JR 91/2014) [2016] ZALCJHB 31 (3 February 2016) per Venter AJ.

LC summary:

Review – section 6 of PAJA – recommendation – section 55A of MHSA – decision – section 55B – Imposition of fine – recommendation and decision – administrative action in terms of PAJA – decision making process flawed – principal inspector of mines deciding administrative fine will be imposed – principal inspector of mines requested inspector to make a recommendation – principal inspector of mines decided to impose administrative fine – bias as to subject matter and prejudice – concepts of impartiality, independence and bias considered – test for bias – considered sections 55A and 55B of MHSA – principal inspector of mines prejudged – decision to impose a fine a fait accompli.