Lawyer to help praying bus driver get his job back

2015-11-19 15:23
Former bus driver Jerome Rose. (Lizel Lotriet-Sampie via Facebook)

Former bus driver Jerome Rose. (Lizel Lotriet-Sampie via Facebook)

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Cape Town - Lawyers have offered their services pro bono to assist praying MyCiTi bus driver Jerome Rose, who was fired by the City of Cape Town after repeatedly leading passengers in prayer. 

"I have been praying for guidance for what my way forward should be," he told News24 on Thursday.

"I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received. People are calling me a hero and even a David going up against Goliath. I don’t know what to say – I am just a guy who asked for the Lord’s blessing."

Rose, who drove the Cape Town/Atlantis route for the past year, was given a verbal warning on Friday November 6 to stop leading passengers in prayer after one of the them submitted a written complaint.

But, despite this, he continued to pray, arguing he was a "Christian first, then a bus driver". He was eventually fired following a disciplinary hearing. He has, however, said he would appeal the ruling.

"So many people contacted me to tell me they are keeping me in their prayers – even people from overseas," he said. "There is even a Facebook group for me. They call me 'Die Biddende Busbestuurder' [The Praying Bus driver]. I like that," said Rose.

'Bus driver was practicing his religion'

Among those who have offered Rose assistance is Neil Coetzer, a senior associate in the employment law, benefits and industrial relations department of Cowan-Harper Attorneys in Sandton.

Coetzer said the firm was willing to help Rose as the case appeared "absurd".

"It is clear that the bus driver was practicing his religion – this shouldn’t offend anyone," Coetzer pointed out. 

"His praying also wouldn’t affect his ability to do his job."

Rose said others had also generously offered to help him in his appeal against the ruling.

"But I will see to that next week; right now I just want to spend time with my family. When I lived in Atlantis to be closer to my job, I didn’t have the luxury of spending so much time with them. I love being home."

Should his appeal result in him being offered his job back, he said only had one requirement.

"I want it in black and white that I am allowed to pray for me and my passengers," he said.

Read more on:    myciti  |  cape town  |  religion

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