Subscribe
  • Home
  • /
  • Public sector
  • /
  • Court dismisses minister’s leave to appeal over sacked SITA board

Court dismisses minister’s leave to appeal over sacked SITA board

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 18 Jun 2024
Mondli Gungubele, minister in the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.
Mondli Gungubele, minister in the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.

Mondli Gungubele, the minister of communications and digital technologies, lost his leave appeal last week against a decision that reinstated the sacked board over the remuneration of then-MD Bongani Mabaso.

The Pretoria High Court reinstated dismissed directors in February while suspending the minister's designated interim board of directors.

In response, the minister sought leave to appeal to the full bench of the North Gauteng division, or to the Supreme Court of Appeal, against the judgement.

ITWeb broke the news in July last year that the conflict stemmed from a major disagreement between the minister, and the fired board chaired by Makano Mosidi, over the salary of then-MD Mabaso.

Minister Gungubele terminated the terms of Mosidi, deputy chairperson Dr Stella Bvuma, Zimbini Hill, Matodzi Ratshimbilani, Rendani Ramabulana, Olwethu Zoliswa Ketsekile, and Dr Tshilidzi Ratshitanga.

Mosidi, Ramabulani, and Ketsekile launched a judicial challenge to their removal from the board, and the court ruled in their favour.

Last week, Justice Yende dismissed the minister’s case against his earlier judgement, saying: “Having considered the grounds of appeal raised by the applicant, the submissions and/or argument raised by the applicant’s counsel in support of the application including both heads of argument, as well as the submission and/or argument by counsel for respondents.

“I am not of the view that on the grounds of appeal raised by the applicant, the appeal would have a reasonable prospect of success. I find that it would be counter-intuitive to grant leave to appeal in the circumstances where the applicant has failed dismally to clearly demonstrate that this court has erred and/or misdirected itself and thus came to a judgment that no reasonable court could have made.”

He added: “I am not convinced that another court would come to a different conclusion other than that which I have made.”

In conclusion, Justice Yende said: “I am constraint to find that the applicant has not made out a case for the application to succeed in terms of the provisions of section 7(1)(a) of the Superior Courts Act No 10 of 2013.

“Consequently, for reasons adumbrated supra the application for leave to appeal is dismissed with costs.”

The conflict concerned an adjustment in the MD's salary, which requires the minister's permission.

According to records seen by ITWeb, the MD's remuneration had been boosted to R4.5 million per year, up from R3.5 million earned by his predecessor.

Mabaso has since left SITA. Altron, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, has engaged him as chief technology officer.

Share