Strikes, abuse, contempt: a day in the life of a Labour Court Judge in South Africa

25 March 2019 by

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We have had the rare opportunity to interview a high court judge in South Africa. Mr Justice Steenkamp is a member of the specialist branch of the high court bench which reviews employment decisions from the lower courts on their way to the appeal courts and ultimately the Constitutional Court. In a country where people are plentiful and employment is scarce, strike action, even protests protected under the Constitution, is fraught with difficulty, particularly where violence abounds and the police force is inactive or overwhelmed. Rosalind English speaks to Labour Court Judge Steenkamp in his chambers at the Labour Court in downtown Cape Town. Citations for the cases referred to in the interview are set out below, along with the relevant legislation.

Robertson Winery v CSAAWU 18 Nov 2016

Dagane v SSSBC 16 March 2018

The Labour Relations Act (LRA), Act 66 of 1995

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