Jonglei State, News

Court orders Radio Jonglei to pay former staff SSP 1.6M

By Gladys Fred Kole & Staff writer

High Court has ordered Radio Jonglei, a community station in Bor town, to pay 1,660,400 SSP in compensation to five volunteer staff whose contracts were terminated last year.

High Court judge, Justice John Yel Aleu, who presided over the case said, in a Monday ruling that the dismissal of the staff was not procedural.

“The defendant Radio Jonglei 95.9 FM to pay the amount of 1 660 400 SSP to plaintiffs as a termination of employment contract without notice and as their gratuity pay,” Justice Yel ordered.

The staff members who were terminated included the news editor, Deng Ghai Deng, the finance officer, Aluel Kut Angeth, reporters, Chol Makol, Agol Samuel and Gabriel Mach Mayol.

At the time, the chief executive officer, Tijwog Agwet, verbally terminated the five staff members because they were volunteers and university students engaged in studies.

The five volunteers protested the decision and opted to file a lawsuit over what they said was unfair dismissal.

Mr. Deng Ghai Deng gets SSP 438,000, Aluel Kut gets SSP 311,000, Mayol Riak gets SSP 297,600, Agol Samuel Panchol gets SSP 297,600 and Chol Makol gets SSP 216 000, respectively.

Justice Yel, who also serves as the High Court president in the state, decreed that the defendant shall bear the cost and that his decision was based on sections 72, 80, 81, and 85 of Labour Act 2017.

Mr. Gabriel Mach, representing the complainants, said the court decision was long overdue.

“We were dismissed on 3 June 2022. This case took us over a year, demanding our rights of benefits, because we were none procedurally dismissed,” he said.

Mr. Agol Samuel, another plaintiff, lauded the court’s decision and that they feel that justice has been served.

Mr. Deng Gai Deng, one of the complainants wholeheartedly welcomed the court verdict.

“It’s fair and just. Justice has been served. This case is just one among hundreds of cases of exploitation by some employers that have not been reported to the court,” Gai said.

“We are happy with the court verdict, and I hope it will serve as a warning to any employer that is exploiting South Sudanese,” he added.

However, the lawyer of Radio Jonglei Dut Mareu said that he is not satisfied with the ruling and is going to appeal for his client.

Radio Jonglei is a joint venture between the Jonglei State government and Sudan Christian Ministries, a local church group.

It was launched in April 2010 to foster unity among the state’s six tribes by broadcasting peace, reconciliation, and development messages in local languages.

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