SA diplomat in 'slave' scandal

2014-01-15 17:19
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Dublin - A South African diplomat in Ireland has landed herself in hot water after her former domestic worker filed charges of slave labour against her, according to reports.

The Irish Independent reported that Thobeka Dlamini, charge d'affaires at the South African Embassy in Dublin, is accused of paying her former employee R24.64 an hour and allegedly forcing her to work 17-hour days.

The domestic worker, who was employed by Dlamini and did not work for the embassy, reportedly worked as the diplomat’s housekeeper and looked after her three children.

She moved to Dublin with the family from Pretoria in 2012.

The woman had filed the complaint a year after arriving in Ireland, after being hospitalised last summer.

Dlamini has reportedly denied the 17-hour work day, but refused to clarify the wages, saying it was three times more than what women were paid in South Africa.

Minimum wages for a domestic worker in SA is R11.27 per hour, compared to the minimum wage in Ireland which is R120.64 per hour.

According to the Irish Independent, Dlamini had supplied the department of foreign affairs with a copy of the domestic worker’s contract detailing wages and working hours.

She said at no stage did department officials raise concerns about the salary and had approved the visa.

Dlamini was surprised by the charge, claiming that the woman had never complained about her working conditions.

Late last year an Indian diplomat in the US was charged with fraud and paying her housekeeper below minimum wage, according to the Daily Mail.

India's deputy consul in New York, Devyani Khobragade, reportedly paid her employee R106.38 and hour for a 40-hour week.

Read more on:    ireland  |  sa
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