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Court throws out MKM worker’s case

Tefo Tefo

 MASERU — The Labour Court on Thursday threw out a M21 000 claim by a former MKM employee who was suing the company for injuries he claimed to have suffered five years ago.

Thabang Khao had approached the court saying the company had not compensated him for the injuries he suffered when he slipped and fell from a ladder while working at MKM’s premises five years ago.

He wanted the company to pay him M21 751 as compensation for the injuries.

Khao said he was working at MKM Burial Society’s buildings in the Maseru industrial area when the accident happened on February 7 2005.

He said he had approached the department of labour for intervention after the management of MKM refused to compensate him as stipulated in labour regulations.

Labour Commissioner ‘Mamohale Matsoso in 2006 lodged an application in the Labour Court on behalf of Khao seeking an order to compel MKM to compensate Khao for the injuries he sustained.

The medical report showed that Khao sustained a “fracture of the fifth finger of the left humorous neck”.

During the court case MKM’s lawyer Makhetha Motšoari submitted that the labour commissioner did not have the legal capacity to sue on behalf of Khao.

“The applicant herein (labour commissioner) has no locus standi to bring the application in as much as he is not an interested party to these proceedings and neither does he have the capacity to litigate on behalf of the individuals as a party to proceedings,” Motšoari  argued.

“On these grounds alone this application is wrongly before this honourable court and ought to be dismissed with costs.”

On Thursday the court agreed with Motšoari  and threw out Khao’s case before its merit could even be considered.

In the judgment the court agreed that Khao should have filed the case himself instead of doing it through Matsoso.

The court said Matsoso did not have the legal right to sue on behalf of Khao.

Procedure was not followed when the case was brought to court, the judgment said.

Khao will have to pay the legal costs that MKM incurred during the trial.

This means that instead of receiving the money he claimed he will have to fork out more to cover his legal costs and those of MKM.

In his answering affidavit, MKM managing director Simon Thebe-ea-Khale said Khao was not eligible for compensation because he was injured when he was not performing the job he was instructed to do.

“Thabang Khao did not sustain injuries whilst doing the assigned work and neither was he even in the assigned area of work hence he was on an assignment of his own when he got injured and is thus not liable for any compensation,” Thebe-ea-Khale said.

Khao had submitted a medical assessment which showed that he had 35 percent disability.

Khao’s claim was lodged before the Labour Court pursuant to provisions of the Labour Code Order of 1992.

The order stipulates that an employer should fill in the accident report form when an employee is injured at work.

The form helps in the subsequent claim for compensation for injuries sustained.

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