Lawyers representing former Premier Services Medical Aid Society chief executive officer Dr Cuthbert Dube say their client was still employed by the health insurer because his contract had not been terminated.
As a result, they said Dr Dube was owed more than US$700 000 in outstanding salaries that he had not been receiving from PSMAS as well as from its subsidiary, Premier Service Medical Investments since January this year.
Mr Jonathan Samkange of Venturas and Samkange law firm, told The Herald that the previous PSMAS board had only asked Dr Dube to go on leave without indicating that it would be unpaid leave.
“The board, under pressure, asked him to go on leave pending some resolution to be made by the board,” Mr Samkange said.
“The next thing they told him that his salary had been reduced to US$43 000 but they stopped paying him that US$43 000. That is the reason we wrote to them reminding them but they told us that they were waiting for the board.
“But our argument is that if you have the power to stop the salary then you should also have the power to pay.”
Mr Samkange said they took the matter to the Labour Court because failure to pay their client constituted an unfair labour practice.
He said PSMAS owed Dr Dube US$265 000 in salary arrears from February to May.
Mr Dube doubled up as PSMI chief executive officer as well as holding 20 percent shareholding in the investment arm.
He said while PSMAS reduced Dr Dube’s salary, PSMI was silent and no communication had taken place between the two parties though they stopped paying him his salary from January.
As a result, Mr Samkange said their client was owed more than US$550 000 in salary arrears between January and May when they took the case to the Labour Court.