Boss accused of assault

2009-08-05 00:00

THE police had to be called in yesterday morning to diffuse a racially tense situation at a local garage in the CBD between the owner of the garage, Michael Chetty, also known as Rajen Singh, and his customers. This happened after the customers apparently witnessed him assaulting one of his employees.

The customers said they were disgusted by what they witnessed. They said Chetty/Singh slapped one of his employees with an open hand in front of them.

When The Witness visited the area, the angry customers were still there and the owner was locked in negotiations with the police about the incident.

F.M. Fekisi, one of the customers who reported the incident, said he was disgusted by what he witnessed. He said he came to the garage to get his car washed, only to see an employee being abused by his employer.

He said after witnessing the incident, they decided to call the police. He said the employee told him this was not the first time the boss had assaulted staff.

Another customer said: “What happened here was a sad sight. Even if the employees are not doing their jobs properly, you discipline them properly, not by assaulting them.”

The employees at the garage alleged that they are regularly abused by the owner. They alleged that on Monday, another employee was assaulted for not washing the side mirrors of a car properly, and another was beaten up so badly that for some time he could not use his arms.

This was confirmed by other people working in the vicinity, who alleged they have witnessed the employees being assaulted on numerous occasions.

The employees also complained of exploitative wages. “We get paid R60 a day and that kind of pay does not allow for any budgeting.”

However, Chetty/Singh denied the incident, saying it was something small that had been blown out of proportion by the customers who witnessed it and has since been resolved. He said the customers called on his employees to down tools and close his car wash.

“I did push him after I got angry. I never assaulted him and that is why the police never took any statements or laid any charges.”

He added that all the accusations were from employees who do not like him “as employees will not like their boss”.

He said some of his employees have been with him for years and they would not have stayed that long if he was abusive.

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