On 22 January 2018, at 10h00, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment in an application for leave to appeal against an order of the Labour Appeal Court.
The factual background to this matter is as follows: The applicant, Dr Sibongile Zungu, was employed by the first respondent, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province (Premier) as the Head of Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal (Head of Department) on a five year contract from 1 December 2009 to 31 July 2014. On 26 June 2014, the Premier advised the applicant that he would not renew her contract at the end of her term, but would advertise the post and that she could apply for the post if she so wished. The post was advertised and the applicant and other candidates applied. The applicant was one of the candidates interviewed for the post. The selection committee recommended that the applicant be appointed as Head of Department for a further period of five years.
Before making the appointment, the Premier conducted an investigation against Dr Zungu, following allegations that were levelled against her by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU). During this time, short-term extensions were made to the applicant’s contract until March 2015, the date when the investigating team submitted a provisional report to the Premier and the applicant. Some findings in the report related to the applicant’s managerial shortcomings as an accounting officer.