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CaseLaw
CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1345
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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I would like to know what my legal options are. My business

Customer Question

I would like to know what my legal options are. My business partners and I were at a business lunch yesterday. There were 4 of us, all shareholders in the company. My one partner, who is our Managing Director lost his temper and slapped me 4 or 5 times after being pulled away he came back in again. I did not retaliate.
1) How long do I have before I have to lay a charge of assault
2) What standing would I have if I resigned as director due to him hitting me, our company policy is that he should be dismissed but he is walking around like it never happened.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

You can lay a charge of assault against him at any point in time that you want. The longer that you delay, obviously the less likely that your charges will be taken seriously by the police, and the less your bruises to your face will be. The police will surely ask "why did you wait so long?" - "maybe there is an ulterior motive?"

My advice is that you lay charges as soon as possible.

If you resigned as a director, nothing would change. You could still lay criminal charges.

If you wanted him removed as a director, you would need to call a meeting of the shareholders (on an urgent basis) and vote to have him removed as a director of the company. If he is entitled to be a director as a result of his shareholding, then the shareholders would need to vote to have him removed as an employee of the company. i.e. he would stay a shareholder and director, he just wouldn't come in to work everyday. i.e. fired.

If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - don't just rate my answer as "bad".

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Good luck and best regards,

CaseLaw

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I need a medical exam, there are no visible injury's but I do have witnesses
From the business point of view, our disciplinary procedures state that if anyone assaults a colleague, it will result in immediate suspension and a hearing which will result in dismissal. How would this work as he is Managing Director and a shareholder. I am a director and shareholder.
Which option is better, if I resign and go to the CCMA for forced dismissal due to work conditions or to go the route of laying a formal company grievance against him and go the hearing route?
He is walking around the office without any remorse what so ever, joking with the staff and he hasn't made any attempt to discuss the issue with me
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.

You don't need a medical examination, but it would assist - if he doctor can still find bruising. If the doctor can't actually find bruising, or photograph the bruising, then there is no point. The witnesses will obviously come in handy, but remember that witnesses can change their story. "Were you hit 3 times or 5 times?"

The disciplinary procedures apply to people as employees. You could not use it to remove a person as a shareholder, nor can you use it to remove a person as a director. If that person was a shareholder/director/employee, you could remove him as an employee.

If you wanted to resign, you would essentially need to prove that you were constructively dismissed. That might be a challenge. Think about whether you want to leave the company, or whether you want him to leave the company.

You should go the route of laying a formal charge with the company, whether or not you also want to resign.

He obviously feels quite embarrassed about slapping you, otherwise he would talk to you about it. You need to get all of the directors in a room to discuss this!