Justice Harold Ruhukya of the Industrial Court has postponed an unfair dismissal case involving Dewet Drilling employees pending the investigations of possible fraud.
When the case resumed last week the employees who are applicants in the matter were surprised to hear that they had signed an affidavit in support of application for condonation of the late filling.
The first applicant, Setshwano Kebue, was given a copy of the affidavit but he denied ever signing it saying even his signature was forged.
“My Lord I have never signed an affidavit. The names are mine but not the signature. I suspect it was forged,” said Kebue
Judge Ruhukya adjourned the matter until further notice pending fraud investigations.
He ordered that the case be referred to the Registrar who will engage the police for investigations since Kebue suspected fraud.
He said the court would get to the bottom of the matter to find out what transpired.
The Judge ordered that Kebue avail himself every time the Registrar needs his assistance.
It later turned out that the applicants lawyer, Kago Mokotedi, of Sekwenyane Legal Practice forged Kebue’s signature.
Mokotedi who had not turned up for the hearing later told his clients that he had confused the dates and thought the matter was due the following day.
He however tried to convinced Kebue to admit that he had signed the affidavit and did not understand the legal term condonation.
Kebue was however reluctant saying giving false information to a person employed in the Public Service is a punishable offence which might also jeopardize his case.
Mokotedi told him that if he does not lie it will be an advantage for Dewet as he will lose the case.
The applicants are demanding 12 months’ salary compensation for unfair retrenchment. The three claim they were dismissed for applying for the membership of Mine Workers Union last yeah June.
“We did not take seriously the threat from the Human Resources office when we were told that we would lose our jobs if we join the union. They are scared because some of the things they do are unlawful and they do not treat employees well. Some of the employees drilling at Masama are not given protective clothing, something they know the union is against,” said Kebue outside the courtroom.