IN THE INDUSTRIAL COURT OF SWAZILAND
Case No. 117/18
In the matter between:
QUINTON DLAMINI Applicant
THE NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE AND
ALLIED WORKERS UNION (NAPSAWU) 1st Respondent
NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF POWER 2nd Respondent
ATTORNEY GENERAL 3rd Respondent
Neutral citation: Quinton Dlamini V The National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) and 2 Others (117/2018)  SZIC 36 (14 May 2018)
Coram: NSIBANDE S. JP
(Sitting with Nominated Members of the Court Mr N. Manana and Mr S. Mamba)
Heard: 30 April 2018
Delivered: 15 May 2018
 The Applicant approached the Court on an urgent basis seeking the following orders:
1.1 That the Honourable Court dispenses with the time limits, forms and provision of service as required in Terms of the Rules of this Court, and that this matter be heard as one of urgency in Terms of Rule 15 of the Rules of this Honourable Court;
1.2 Setting aside the decision of the Respondent suspending the applicant from union activities as unlawful and against the Respondent’s bye laws;
1.3 Directing the Respondent to reinstate him to his position as the Manzini Branch Chairperson forthwith;
1.4 Interdicting and restraining the Respondent from preventing the Applicant from carrying out his duties as Chairperson of Manzini Branch of the 1st Respondent, inclusive of participating in the 1st Respondent’s National General Council;
1.5 Interdicting the Respondent from continuing with the holding and convening of the Annual General Council pending the final determination of this application;
1.6 And/or postponing the holding of the Respondent’s National General Council sine die pending the final determination of this application;
1.7 Directing the Respondent to dispatch the minutes and record of proceedings from the respective branches leading to the adoption of the resolution for the suspension of the Applicant from union membership of the Respondent;
1.8 Authorising members of the 2nd Respondent to assist in the execution and enforcement of any order that this Honourable Court shall issue in the above matter;
1.9 Costs of the application on the attorney and own client scale;
1.10 That prayers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 operate as a Rule Nisi with immediate interim relief returnable on the 27th April 2018 calling upon the Respondent to show cause why the same should not be made final;
1.11 Granting Applicant further and/or alternative relief.
 When the matter came before court, the 1st Respondent was able to file only its notice to oppose the application and asked for time to file an answering affidavit. From the bar, the issue of urgency was raised, it being alleged that the meeting the Applicant sought to attend and/or interdict was almost concluded thus the application had been overtaken by events. The Respondent applied to file its answering affidavit on 27th April in which this and other matters would be set out. The answering affidavit was filed on the 27th April and the Respondent sought to argue the points of law raised in its answering affidavit.
 The Respondent raised three points in limine namely that the matter was not urgent, having been overtaken by events; that the applicant had not established a clear right to the relief he sought and that he was approaching the court with dirty hands.
 The points in limine shall be dealt with as follows:
The Applicant alleges that the matter is urgent because: (i) he was scheduled to attend a National General Council Meeting on 24th April wherein “a quarterly secretariat and financial reports will be presented and resolution taken and procedures will be adopted.” He alleges that resolutions and decisions affecting him and his constituency will be taken against him without his involvement. He alleges that the issue of the purchase of the house will be deliberated therein and resolved without his side being stated. He further alleges that he represents members in Labour tribunals and should the matter not be enrolled the progress of part heard matters will be prejudiced and injustice occasioned. Respondent’s position was that by the time the matter was heard, the meeting applicant referred to was coming to an end hence the basis of the urgency of his application fell away. Further that the Applicant failed to comply with Rule 15 of the Industrial Court Rule 2007 in the he failed to set out explicitly why he cannot be afforded substantial relief at a hearing in due course.
The Respondent further submitted that no sustainable allegation of irreparable loss had been made by the Applicant in his papers.
The Applicant in his submissions conceded that the main basis for the urgency of the application the meeting of 24th April 2018 had been overtaken by events but insisted that there were other reasons why the matter should be enrolled as one of urgency as per paragraphs 26 to 28 of his founding affidavit. Apart for the meeting of 24th April, other reasons set out in paragraphs 27 and 28 of the founding affidavit have to do with the applicant’s appearance at Labour tribunals and the fact that the issue of the purchase of the house (which led to his suspension) would be deliberated on the meeting and he would be unable to give his side in view of the suspension.
It is our view that the applicant’s inability to represent employees at Labour tribunals is not a basis to establish urgency of his application. Apart from failing to be candid with the Court by explicitly stating what matters are outstanding before what Labour tribunal and when such matters stand to be heard, the applicant does not administer the Manzini Branch on his own. He has an executive that can easily assign someone else to deal with matters at Labour tribunals. This may delay part-heard matters in the sense that the new appointee would have to get up to speed with each matter applicant hands over but that does not prejudice applicant in anyway.
The same goes for the allegation that decisions affecting his constituency and himself would be debated in his absence and without his involvement. Even if the meeting had not been overtaken by events the Manzini Branch has an executive structure which is empowered to represent the constituency. In the absence of the Applicant surely other office bearers could adequately partake in the meeting and safeguard the interests of the constituency. His branch would surely be represented by competent elected people. With regard to the issue of the purchase of the house which has led to the Applicant’s suspension, the Respondent has set up a Commission of Enquiry at which the Applicant can appear and give his side. That he considers the issue to be an old matter is neither here nor there. As a member he must submit himself to the processes of the Respondent.
It appears to us that Applicant can be afforded substantial relief at a hearing in due course in terms of Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. There is no reason why an application in terms thereof cannot be brought by Applicant.
For these reasons this point in limine is upheld.
It is not necessary to consider the other points in limine in the circumstances. The application is dismissed and the rule nisi discharged. No order is made as to costs.
The members agree.
PRESIDENT OF THE INDUSTRIAL COURT
For the Applicant: Mr P.K. Msibi
For the Respondent: Mr M. Dladla