First lady ordered to pay worker

2010-07-23 00:00

THE Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has given President Jacob Zuma’s wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, 14 days to pay her former domestic worker after she unlawfully dismissed her.

Ilanga and the South African Press Association (Sapa) reported that Ntuli-Zuma, affectionately known as MaNtuli, did not pay Sbongile Doris Ngobese the full salary that they had agreed upon, and did not follow the correct procedure when dismissing her.

The agreement was that Ngobese would be paid R2 000 a month after she was recruited from her job at St Augustine’s Hospital.

She started working for MaNtuli in August last year.

The CCMA ruled on June 4 that MaNtuli must back-pay Ngobese R16 000 for eight months of her R2 000 salary that was outstanding.

The CCMA allegedly requested MaNtuli to attend the hearing and give her side of the story, but she failed to do so.

According to reports, the main issue in the matter was whether Ma­Ntuli had followed the correct procedure in dismissing Ngobese.

Ngobese was paid R1 000 on February 27, with MaNtuli promising to pay the rest when she had money.

On March 8, Ngobese asked for the rest of her salary as she was ill and needed to see a doctor, but MaNtuli allegedly did not reply to Ngobese’s request. Ngobese saw a doctor who gave her a sick note to stay at home until March 12.

On March 10, MaNtuli’s bodyguard went to Ngobese’s home and paid her the remaining R1 000.

Ngobese gave the bodyguard the sick note. The following day the bodyguard returned with the sick note and told Ngobese not to return to work on March 12.

On April 29, she reportedly returned to the house to ask whether she was still employed by MaNtuli.

A policewoman at the gate reportedly went into the house and returned with Ngobese’s clothing, but did not say whether Ngobese was still employed at the house.

The first lady has been in the media recently, but for all the wrong reasons.

At one stage, she was reported to be having problems in maintaining the Durban house in which she lived.

Attempts to get comment from the presidency failed, with the acting director in the spousal office, Sherley Ramalepa, saying she is not mandated to speak to the media.

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