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Teneille Govender | Maisels Chambers Group 3

Teneille Govender
Called to bar 2014


Earlier in her legal career, Teneille was an academic associate at the University of Pretoria while completing her masters degree in mercantile law and lectured the introduction to law course. Prior to joining the Bar, Teneille was an attorney for 5 years, having practiced at two premier law firms. While Teneille's main focus during her years as an attorney was labour law, she now has a multi-faceted practice and has added the practice areas cited below to her repertoire.



  • Naidoo v NHBRC (JR54/18: handed down by the Labour Court on 29 June 2020): In a review to the Labour Court against an arbitration award in terms of which it was found that the applicant did not have a legitimate expectation of renewal of a 5 year fixed term contract, Teneille argued that the undertakings given to the applicant by the CEO, Chairman, and 2 senior managers who were the applicant's direct reports that her contract would be renewed did create a legitimate expectation to renewal. Unfortunately, the Court found that since the undertakings were not lawful or competent that a reasonable or legitimate expectation could not be created. Even though the judgment went against the applicant, it raises an important legal issue and was marked reportable accordingly.
  • Moqhaka Local Municipality v IMATU obo EM Thembe & 13 Others [2020] ZALAC 29 (22 May 2020): In an appeal to the Labour Appeal Court Teneille, led by Adv N Cassim SC, challenged the Labour Court's finding that the dismissal of employees following an unprotected strike was procedurally and substantively unfair along with the granting of reinstatement. On appeal, the main issue before the Court was the assessment of the credibility of the respective witnesses. In assessing the credibility of the witnesses in favour of the Municipality (employer), the Labour Appeal Court found that the employees' dismissals were procedurally and substantively fair and substituted the Labour Court's finding accordingly, dismissing the employees' claims.   
  • Off-Beat Holiday Club and Another v Sanbonani Holiday Spa Shareblock Limited and Others 2017 (7) BCLR 916 (CC): The issue before the Constitutional Court (“CC”) was whether a claim located in section 252 of the Companies Act 61 of 1973 had prescribed. In the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”), Justice Maya found that “it is established that for the purposes of the Prescription Act the ‘debt’ has a wide and general meaning”. However, approximately two weeks after the SCA’s judgment, the Constitutional Court in Makate v Vodacom (Pty) Ltd [2016] ZACC considered the proper meaning of the term “debt” as it appears in section 10(1) read with 11(d) of the Prescription Act. In Makate, the CC took the view that the pre-Constitutional wide and general interpretation of the term “debt” constitutes an impermissible intrusion into the constitutional right of access to courts enjoyed by litigants and it is this finding that the appeal in the matter under discussion was premised on.  The CC granted leave to appeal against that part of the judgment and order of the SCA that held that the claim located in section 252 of the Companies Act had prescribed, the appeal against the order of the SCA relating to the dismissal of the section 252 relief was upheld and the Court found that a claim brought under section 252 of the Companies Act does not constitute a debt in terms of the Prescription Act. Teneille, acting for the appellant, was led in this matter by Adv H Epstein SC and Adv K Hopkins.
  • South African Poultry Association v Minister of Agriculture & Others [2016] ZAGPPHC 862: This matter involved the urgent review of the Government’s promulgated but not yet operative regulations over permissible brining levels. At issue were aspects of procedural fairness in the regulation-making process and the degree of appropriate public participation required by section 4 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act of 2000; also the proper approach that courts should adopt when treating Government experts which the required degree of deference. Teneille led by Adv H Epstein SC and Adv K Hopkins, acted for respondents including the red meat industry and small chicken producers, and successfully argued, with government, that the promulgating of regulations was a policentric decision and that there was effective consultation.
  • Free State Gambling and Liquor Authority v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Others; In re: Free State Liquor and Gambling Authority v Motake N.O and Others  (2015) 36 ILJ 2867 (LC): Teneille, led by Adv  F Boda SC, successfully brought the first application concerning absolution from the payment of security on PFMA considerations, following the amendments of Labour Relations Act which required security when a review application was brought. The issue of costs is subject of an appeal pending at the Labour Appeal Court. While the subsequent Labour Appeal Court decision in COJ v SAMWU obo L Monareng (2019) 40 ILJ 1753 LAC has altered the position, the Free State Gambling Board matter is still used as distinguishable authority.


  • Mbatha v Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council and Others (JR372/13) [2015] ZALCJHB 332 (30 September 2015)
  • Mashiloane v Lopez and Others (25790/2014) [2016] ZAGPPHC 66 (26 January 2016)