In the recent matter of Voyu Mlokoti v Amathole District Municipality and Mlamli Zenzile, unreported, Eastern Cape Division case no1428/2008, in respect of which leave to appeal has been refused, Pickering J has, in unequivocal terms, confirmed the illegality of the so-called practice of cadre deployment currently extensively practiced within the ANC. The court also brought clarity, albeit obiter, to the much debated question of the jurisdiction that a High Court has over questions of unfair labour practices.
The facts in this matter were that the applicant and 2nd respondent were short-listed out of 20 applicants for the post of Municipal Manager. Thereafter an assessment of their relative strengths and weaknesses was undertaken by an 11-member representative selection panel. Despite being found to be the weaker candidate, and despite two legal opinions cautioning first respondent not to appoint second respondent, second respondent was appointed.
This appointment was purely as a result of an instruction by the ANC's regional leadership to the ANC members of the District Council to appoint him. Aggrieved by the decision, applicant applied to the High Court to have the decision reviewed and set aside, and to substitute the decision with one appointing him.
In dealing with the question of jurisdiction, which first respondent challenged, the court rejected the statement by Erasmus J in Nomzamo Cleaning Service Cooperative v Appie and Others  9 BLLR 901(Ck) to the effect that the Constitutional Court had overruled in Chirwa v Transnet Ltd and Others 2008 (4) SA 367 (CC) its earlier finding in Fredericks v MEC for Education and Training 2002 (2) SA 680 (CC) that the labour court did not have exclusive jurisdiction in all matters arising from an employment relationship.
Aligning itself with the views expressed by Froneman in Nakin v MEC, Department of Education, Eastern Cape Province unreported Eastern Cape Division case no 77/2007 and those of Revelas J in Mkumatela v Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality unreported South Eastern Cape Local Division case number 2314/2006 the learned judge confirmed that in the Chirwa judgment the court had simply established the principle that an aggrieved person possessed of a remedy under the Labour Relations Act (LRA), was obliged to pursue that remedy in the Labour Court and not in the High Court, notwithstanding reference in the LRA to the latter court's concurrent jurisdiction. However where the cause of action was formulated without reference to the LRA an applicant had a choice as to which court to approach.
In considering the merits of the case, the court noted that the first respondent was governed by its "Recruitment Policy" in its appointment of a municipal manager. This policy required, inter alia, that fair recruitment and selection procedures had to be followed; that candidates had to be selected objectively and on merit; and that individuals had to be recruited to positions on the basis of qualifications and suitability. It was also governed by the provisions of the Local Government: Municipal systems Act and section 195 of the Constitution.