Man says he was stripped, humiliated after theft

2009-04-28 00:00

An employee at a local panel beaters’ was allegedly stripped and paraded around work last Thursday after being accused of stealing paint from the shop.

The 23-year-old man, who asked not to be named, said he was humiliated when he was made to strip naked by his boss, and paraded around the shop.

He had taken some paint from a bin inside the workshop as he thought it had been thrown away, he said.

“I tried to sell the paint to a group of guys who were waiting outside,” he said.

He said he had to walk home with only his underpants on.

“I live in Langalibalele Street so I had to walk all the way from Victoria Road in my underwear,” he said.

He said he does not know how he will be able to find another job as his boss allegedly contacted other panel beaters and told them not to hire him.

He said: “I’m worried about my future. How am I supposed to pay rent now that I do not have a job? I will have to become a street kid as I no longer have parents.”

He shares his flat with a friend.

“He has destroyed my future as there is no chance I will ever work in Pietermaritzburg again,” he said.

He also alleges his boss slapped him in the face, and sometimes hit other workers too when they made mistakes.

“He also threatened to shoot me, so I now fear for my life,” he said.

The manager of Hugo’s Panel Shop, Craig Frankson, said the man was caught trying to sell company stock.

“I gave him the option to view the video before any accusations had been made. He was caught red-handed receiving money for company stock, which is illegal,” said Frankson.

“We issue each of our workers with a uniform with the company’s name on it. When they wear the uniform they become representatives of the company. We removed the uniform from him because he was involved in an illegal activity,” he said.

Frankson said he never threatened to shoot the man.

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