Umicore Catalyst SA (Pty) Ltd v Nogantshi (PR89/14) [2015] ZALCPE 43 (11 August 2015) per Steenkamp J.

The Labour Court declined to review and set aside an award reinstating the employee. The employer had alleged that the reason for dismissal was fraudulent mispresentation concerning a medical certificate.  This meant that the employer attracted not only the onus of proving that the reason was validly related to conduct but also that there was a breach of trust to make the dismissal fair.  On the evidence, including that of the doctor and the employee, the employer failed to prove that there was any relationship between the reason and the conduct.  That meant that fairness did not have to be considered.


[13] The employee’s evidence, on the other hand, although at times somewhat argumentative, was consistent throughout. Lineo fell ill at school on Friday 31 May. He took him to Dr Pakiwe that same afternoon. Lineo insisted on spending the night with him as he was not feeling well. That is why he couldn’t go to work on the night shift at 22:00. He did go to work on Monday 3 June, when he was working 14:00 – 22:00.

[14] It is common cause that the employee did indeed work 14:00 – 22:00 on Monday 3 June. That puts pay to Dr Pakiwe’s testimony, who was adamant (in the arbitration, contrary to his earlier affidavit) that he saw the employee on the afternoon of Monday 3 June and that the employee asked him to backdate the medical certificate to Friday 31 May.