the matter between:
DOLLY MASEKO Applicant
CHARTERED BANK Respondent
APPLICANT MR. MOTSA
RESPONDENT MR. DODDS
ASSESSORS MESSRS B.
STEPHEN AND A.N. MATSEBULA
IN DESPUTE UNFAIR DISMISSAL
this matter the Applicant is claiming compensation together with
terminal benefits for her unfair termination.
Applicant joined the Respondent Bank on 8/8/73. In 1978 she was
promoted as a Check Clerk and posted to the Waste Department of the
Mbabane Branch. In the course of her duties she used to receive from
the Bank's Head Office, cheques tendered in South Africa by its
Branch customers. These cheques were received in batches and were
attended to immediately by the clerks, under the supervision of the
a routine check carried out by the Management it was discovered that
a particular batch which had been received by
applicant on 26/11/84 remained unattended to, until 18/12/84. Then it
was Found that this batch contained two cheques of hers, one for
E845.52 and the other for E100. At the time the cheques were issued,
her bank account showed an overdrawn amount of E15.38. Thus she had
no money at all in her account to meet these two cheques.
Nevertheless on 17/12/84, her account was credited with a sum of
E1,571.72 which represented her salary, bonus and salary review. This
in Fact helped her to clear her cheques on 18/12/84.
is apparant from the above that the Applicant's delay in attending to
this particular batch until 18/12/84 was deliberate so as to gain
time, so that by the 17/12/84, she would have sufficient funds in her
account to meet these cheques. She herself admitted this in her
letter to the Manager (Ex.2) Therefore her action constituted a
dishonest act as contemplated under Sec.36 ( b) of the Employment Act
No.5 of 1980.
Applicant had worked for nearly 13 years with the Bank. Inevitably
the length of time for which an employee has been employed by the
employer will almost always be a releant factor to weigh up in
deciding whether a dismissal has been fair.
length of service is also of importance when considering the penalty
that should be imposed. But the very fact that she had been in
service for go long, should have made here realise that a single act
of dishonesty could endanger her reputation and 25 earn her
is indeed that after a long and clean service that she should have
succumbed to temptation.
J. have no other alternative but to hold that the Applicant's
dismissal has been fair and I therefore dismiss the application.
under the circumstances the Applicant should forfeit the severance
pay as contemplated under Sec. 34 (2) of the Employment Act No.5 of
1980; considering the relevant facts in this matter as a whole. I
feel that the act she committed is not of such a grave nature so as
to warrant such a forfeiture. Had I any choice in this matter. I
would have used it in her favour and made an order for the payment of
this allowance. Unfortunately my discretion is fettered. In the
circumstances I can only recommend that the Respondent Bank should
consider the payment of the sevarance allowance to the Applicant.
Assessors agree with my decision.