Former Ndalo Media employees are preparing to head to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) after learning on Monday that the media company would be liquidated.
They allege they have been left with 'absolutely nothing'.
"It is very disappointing; the trust has been completely broken – we do not know what to believe anymore."
"Where has our money gone?" a source, who wanted to remain anonymous, told News24.
The liquidation comes after CEO Khanyi Dhlomo announced that the company, which housed Destiny, Destiny Man, Elle and Elle Home magazines would be closing "after much reflection", News24 previously reported.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity we've had to touch millions of lives through our work and to all who have supported our brands in various ways," she said in a short statement in December.
"At this point, my focus is on Ndalo Media's employees and stakeholders who have all made a significant contribution to the business over the years. Thereafter, my focus will shift to the next chapter which I'll share at the appropriate time," she added.
Following the decision to close down, employees received their November and December salaries on January 8, 2019.
The former employee alleges that staff also went through a retrenchment process and signed packages. However, from February 2019, the packages were not paid out and Dhlomo allegedly went silent for two weeks.
"From the 15th of March, we were informed that they were having difficulties finalising investors and we were asked to agree to lower settlements.
"We did not agree and on the 22nd of March, we were informed that we would be liquidated," the former employee explained.
The source further went on to say that former staff members had lost their homes and cars as a result of Ndalo Media not paying out their packages and opting to liquidate instead.
"One employee who was there for 11 years is owed approximately R700 000 in pension and that is still outstanding.
"None of the staff have been able to cash out their benefits or other linked benefits such as disability which have since been suspended. Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Pay as you earn (PAYE) included. We don't know what the money was used for?" the source added.
Dhlomo hailed, while staff 'lost everything'
Ndalo Media, in a letter dated April 15, 2019, informed employees that it was currently liaising with Old Mutual with respect to pension and would communicate the outcome by Thursday.
The source also expressed anger at the amount of support Dhlomo received when she announced her decision to close Ndalo Media while staff "lost everything".
"We as staff are in disbelief in the way she has treated us, she received all this support and was hailed as a media mogul but she does not answer our phone calls or messages when we ask questions. It's as if she does not care.
"This liquidation will probably continue for years and will amount to us receiving much less than we agreed upon. It is very disappointing," the source said.
News24 has seen a document dated April 15, 2019, informing employees that Ndalo Media (PTY) (LTD) and Ndalo TME (PTY) (LTD) will go into voluntary liquidation after it failed to conclude transactions with investors.
News24 reached out to Ndalo Media's lawyers, Judin Combrinck Inc. Attorneys, for comment, but received no response at the time of publishing.
The next step for former employees is to apply for arbitration.
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