The Labour Appeal Court has taken a practical approach in that the law itself merely calls for “audi alteram partem”
If you go back to the Avril Elizabeth Home for the mentally handicapped case, then you will see that the Labour Court specifically said then that the LRA contemplates an informal, expeditious disciplinary process conveying in essence, nothing more than a dialogue and an opportunity for reflection before a decision is taken.
Subsequently, the CCMA Commissioners and some of the Labour Court judges have tried to read too much into the law and have brought about a highly technical procedural process. The judges have almost expected employers to be lawyers and have bogged down what should have been a simple process.
The reality is that if an employer can show that there has been a fair procedure and that there is merit for the dismissal, then the employer should be successful in defending a claim of an unfair dismissal