Good Day, my questions cover both labour and business law. My husband is a 20% shareholder of a cc., he was employed by the company for 9 years when they offered him an interest in the business 4 years ago. The condition was that he sign a 3 year restraint of trade agreement covering the whole of South Africa. At the time it did not seem like an unreasonable condition as my husband was very happy working there and was planning on retiring with this company. He had full trust and confidence in the members and never intended leaving the company as this was his first job after leaving school and he knew that finding another job would be difficult as he had no further education or training. A few weeks ago he arrived at work and out of the blue they served him with a notice of suspension for dishonest conduct and he was summoned for a disciplinary hearing 2 days later. My husband was in complete shock and disbelief as he was accused of selling goods to customers and depositing the money in his personal bank account for his own benefit. He maintained his innocence during the hearing and provided bank statements and evidence that he was innocent and did not need to steal money from the company which he had a vested interest in. The company had written affidavits from 80% of the stores staff stating that my husband was engaging in dishonest conduct, but the company could not provide any invoices or customer affidavits stating that they paid him the monies or how much they paid him. All the affidavits were similar and when the witnesses were questioned by my husband their answers were all the same as if they had been coached. The facilitator found my husband guilty and the company asked that he resign. He refused to resign stating that he was innocent and they dismissed him. My husband reported the case to the CCMA for a CONARB which the company objected to. On arrival at the conciliation hearing the company said that they wanted to negotiate, which my husband agreed to. This was just a delay tactic as it is clear that they did not really want to negotiate. The case will now go for arbitration. My questions are was the disciplinary hearing procedurally fair as the so called "independent" facilitator was hired by the company and my husband was not consulted, also the evidence he provided was omitted from the recommendation and only the company's evidence was included. Also they are treating him as an employee and not a member of the business and my husband feels like they only used him to secure BEE tenders all these years and now they want to get rid of him. Can he lodge a civil claim against the company for wrongful accusations, defamation of character, forcing him out of the business and loss of income, pending the outcome of the CCMA hearing? Lastly can he challenge the restraint of trade as he is now forced to go out and earn a living and because this is the only line of business he knows it will be very difficult for him to find gainful employment in another line of business? The company is a wholesaler/retailer and the goods they sell are not unique and can be found in most retail stores, ie.e stationers, hardware stores etc.