Durban’s Labour Court saved from urgent eviction

February 1st, 2012

By Nomfundo Manyathi

The employees of the Labour Court in Durban are breathing a sigh of relief as it appears that the court is no longer being evicted from its premises.

The court was due to vacate its premises in the Durban city centre by 15 December 2011, following a court order resulting from a dispute over ownership of the building in the old Smith Street.

The court took occupation of the building after the Department of Public Works signed a lease with Libuyile Security’s Dumisane Tembe, who had an agreement to buy the building from MTN. However, MTN claimed that Mr Tembe had not put up one cent of the purchase price, but had already let a few floors to the government for the court, and approached the High Court.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court ruled that the agreement had been validly cancelled, that none of the respondents held a lien over the property and that MTN was entitled to an eviction order.

Judge President of the Labour Court, Judge Dunstan Mlambo, told De Rebus that the court order was directed at the main respondent, Mr Tembe, and that the court had been affected by the order to vacate the building, but that they had discussed the matter with MTN and remained in the building.

He added that the court was currently in negotiations with MTN regarding a new lease and that he was sure that it would not have to vacate its premises.

Nomfundo Manyathi,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (Jan/Feb) DR 6.