Solari v Nedbank Ltd and Others (CA3/2012) [2014] ZALAC 8; [2014] 9 BLLR 884 ; (2014) ILJ 3349 (LAC) (27 March 2014)

LAC Summary: review of arbitration award- employee approving home loans facility without following bank procedure- employee dismissed for dishonesty- commissioner reinstating employee- commissioner failing to apply his mind to relevant facts- award failing to meet the reasonableness test- Labour Court setting aside arbitration award.

Coram: Waglay JP, CJ  Musi and Dlodlo AJJA

Heard:                    5 November 2013

Delivered:              27 March 2014

Appeal disallowed and Labour Court judgment upheld with costs.

[1] This appeal, which is brought with the leave of the court a quo (Lagrange J), in essence concerns the meteoric rise and shameful fall from grace of the appellant.

[2] The appellant was, at the time of his dismissal, the area manager of the first respondent (Nedbank Ltd).  He was charged and convicted at a properly held disciplinary hearing of dishonesty in that, he collaborated with junior staff to approve and release unsecured loans from Nedbank without the necessary signed documents, thereby causing potential financial and reputational risk to the bank.

He was also convicted of e-mail abuse in that he received, returned and forwarded pornographic material using Nedbank resources in contravention of the bank’s e-mail and internet policy.  He was consequently dismissed.  He referred the matter to the second respondent (Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)).  After unsuccessful conciliation proceedings, he referred the matter for arbitration.

The arbitrator (third respondent) found that the appellant’s dismissal was substantially unfair and ordered his reinstatement.  Nedbank launched review proceedings in the court a quo against the arbitrator’s award.

The court a quo reviewed and set aside the arbitrator’s award.  The appellant appeals against the court a quo’s judgment.