UPDATE | Prasa to appeal Labour Court ruling ordering reinstatement of execs

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PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA ? JULY 13: The new Prasa trains on July 13, 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa. PRASA insists that the media reports on its new locomotives were incorrect and misleading and that the gap between the contact wire and the roof of the locomotives exceeded the 150mm prescribed in safety regulations. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Alet Pretorius)
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA ? JULY 13: The new Prasa trains on July 13, 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa. PRASA insists that the media reports on its new locomotives were incorrect and misleading and that the gap between the contact wire and the roof of the locomotives exceeded the 150mm prescribed in safety regulations. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Alet Pretorius)
  • The Labour Court has ruled the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's decision to terminate the contracts of three executive officials unlawful.
  • The officials in question are Nkosinathi Khena, Onica Ngoye and Tiro Holele.
  • The Labour Court ruling was issued on the same day that a Prasa delegation was briefing Parliament.



The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that it would appeal a Labour Court ruling handed down earlier that day ordering that executives whose contract of employment at the entity was terminated be reinstated.

"Prasa will be appealing the judgment of the acting judge as the basis of the judgment in favour of the applicants is flawed in law. Prasa's legal team will be filing the necessary papers before the end of business tomorrow [Wednesday]," the statement said.

The Labour Court in Johannesburg handed down judgment earlier on Tuesday declaring the termination of employment of three Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) executives unlawful.

They are former chief operating officer Nkosinathi Khena, former executive for risk and legal compliance Onica Ngoye and former Autopax CEO Tiro Holele.

The judgment came out on the same day that a Prasa delegation briefed Parliament with a delegation led by the agency's chair and former ANC member of Parliament, Leonard Ramatlakane.

In February, Prasa released a statement saying that it planned to release Holele and two other executives from their contractual responsibilities, citing the expiration of their employment contracts. The agency released Khena and Ngoye from their positions in late January.

The executives' names were mentioned among officials said to be responsible for the irregular approval of contracts with companies for services, including a R58 million contract to SA Fence & Gate.

The Labour Court ruling determined that the application by Khena, Ngoye and Holele was urgent and that the contracts of employment concluded by the applicants and respondents were extant.

"It is declared that the respondents' termination of [the] applicants' contracts of employment by letters addressed to the applicants on 29 January 2021 and on 1 February 2021 is unlawful. The termination of the applicants' contracts of employment is set aside," said the Labour Court ruling.

Meanwhile, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts urged the Prasa delegation at its briefing in Parliament on Tuesday morning to get to the bottom of vacancies at the rail agency, to which Ramatlakane said Prasa would find the required skills to fill the positions and "not just warm bodies".

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