Man suspended over Facebook post

2012-02-09 10:49

Johannesburg - A senior inspector at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been suspended after he wrote negative comments about his seniors on Facebook.

The CAA confirmed on Wednesday that he had been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

It would appear that the inspector, who was working for the CAA’s department of flight operations, referred to incompetence at his workplace on the social network on Saturday afternoon.

There was no mention of the CAA or specific colleagues.

There was also no mention in his profile or on the page that he worked for the authority - only that he was a contract pilot.

Internal problems

Someone presumably sent the Facebook comment to his seniors, who confronted him about it.

A senior manager mentioned it before a meeting, during which he was handed his suspension letter.

According to informed sources, the incident is one of many internal problems that have led to a flare-up at the CAA over the past few weeks.

The head of flight security resigned suddenly about two weeks ago.

Obert Chakarisa had been in several posts at the CAA over the past 14 years.

Chakarisa was believed to be furthering his career elsewhere.

  • Henning - 2012-02-09 11:07

    What an idiot, if you want to complain or cry about something use a tissue, not your facebook status!

      jade.bulley - 2012-02-09 11:30

      Oh come on!!! So what? We all get frustrated and say things in anger. Suspension? That's a bit harsh. He was venting on his profile, an apology should have sufficed.

      Janice - 2012-02-09 11:51

      I dont think he did anything wrong!!!

      Fumanchu - 2012-02-09 11:51

      What he says on his facebook (personal profile) has FFFFFFFF-all to do with his employers. That is like firing someone for telling his friends that their Boss is n poephol at a social gathering. This is absurd!

      tbooze - 2012-02-09 11:51

      Keep your friends close and your colleagues on limited FB profile

      Barker - 2012-02-09 12:38

      He did not divulge any information pertaining to his place of work. How can CAA discipline him when they have not been named? Sounds like one of his Facebook friends does not like him very much. Singing like a canary.

      Nina - 2012-02-09 12:48

      Here is the bottom line: he did nothing wrong, he did not mention the company, he expressed frustration! something every person who has ever worked a day in their life has done in some way or another. Suspension? Really? All this warranted was a written warning at most, if they REALLY felt they should do something about it. He should get a good lawyer, just for the princple of it.

      John - 2012-02-09 12:52

      Fumanchu - February 9, 2012 at 11:51 The proof of the pudding is in the Social Network Policy of the company. If he contravened a policy he signed, they'll have grounds. I'm with you that this is a farce but company policy these days mean more than personal freedom!

      Gert - 2012-02-09 12:59

      @John, the funny thing is that the new law states that if he signed a contract for emploment with the company then he automatically needs to comply with all their policies, so he don't even need to sign any of them. Also to other people that think Facebook is private. According to law any electronic communication (that includes facebook and news24 comments :-)) that are accessed via any IT equipment owned by the company or while on company time is open for scrutiny by the company. So you do not have ANY privacy when using company equipment.

      John - 2012-02-09 13:36

      Gert - February 9, 2012 at 12:59 True! Most of the companies that sat sleeping regarding social network policies are now waking up and frantically sending out electronic copies of policies that needs to be signed immediately! But I still feel a good CCMA case can be made regarding this particular case seeing that nowhere on his profile he mentioned his employer and no names were mentioned in his status. Time will tell!

      Schmee - 2012-02-09 14:07

      Maybe the CAA should sort themselves out instead of suspending the one that has the guts to voice displeasure, albeit in the wrong forum. Who knows maybe he really tried to do it via the right channels and failed.

      Ja - 2012-02-09 14:29

      Talk about flying off the handle .. crash and burn .. will there be a report ..

      Frank - 2012-02-09 14:36

      Am I the only once concerned about the fact that somebody is risking his job to moan about incompetence at the CAA?!! As South African we have grown used to incompetence (often as a result of affirmative action), but bloody hell, when I'm sitting on the plane between Jozi and Cape Town I would like to know that there are only competent people involved in every aspect of my flight!

      Ian - 2012-02-09 16:57

      Hence the reason i dont add comments to my facebook profile.....first of all you never know who is reading them and secondly my business is none of yours you do not need to know Whats On My Mind, if you so interested call me instead.....

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 17:48

      My sentiments exactly, Henning. Just fyi to all you naysayers there is usually a clause in any employment agreement covering this topic. Read it carefully or don't sign it.

      marina.poniatowska - 2012-02-09 22:31

      @Fumanchu, so in your opinion. If a person calls in sick, and then post pictures for a wonderful day at the beach, making updates about the lovely lunch they had, beautiful day outside and comes in the next day with a sunburn, and a huge hangover. It's all ok and this person should not be disciplined? Different scenario, same principle.

  • Omrisho - 2012-02-09 11:09

    face it, don't facebook it :)

  • Ingrid - 2012-02-09 11:12

    Tell it like it is!!!! There are better places out there to work for, with much less office politics.

      Fourhundredkg - 2012-02-09 11:34

      Which department at CAA do you work for Ingrid?

  • zane.blignaut - 2012-02-09 11:14

    facebook, is just that... a personal profile where you can state your own private thoughts to you friends.. this person didn't mention his work nor did he mention anyone specific... he will win this case!!

      Linda - 2012-02-09 11:25

      Its sad that the person who sent this to his company is a 'friend'. Careful who you accept as friends on fb.

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 17:50

      LOL.. girls and their "friends" why cant you females trust each other?

      phillip.havenga - 2012-02-09 18:34

      @Heiku for the same reason the person in the article shouldn't have trusted their friends.

      zane.blignaut - 2012-02-11 11:44

      I have a disclaimer on my Facebook page which states that my facebook page is for private use only and that no institution, state or private may use my comments against me.... legally its binding

  • Tony - 2012-02-09 11:14

    If he did not mentioned the colleages or the employers name on what grounds are they suspending him. It's a "democratic" country and surely he his entitled to have his own personal views. Supposed hes got the wrong surname. Those who steal millions get rewarded with a promotion. Africa's democratcy (Africa's new buzz word).

      Shistirrer - 2012-02-09 12:55

      If he did'nt mention names and they still suspended him, it's an admission of guilt by his superiors that they are indeed incompetent. Why else would they assume he was talking about them?

      Silver - 2012-02-09 12:59

      @TheRealWarrenB: Everyone knows it and it is all around us but you are not allowed to say it or point people out. That way incompetent people can sit back and relax. Rather he said "We experience managerial challenges". That would have been more politically correct.

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 17:55

      Employment contracts are not democratic nor are they only binding only when you are at work. I do not agree with this. This is why i want people to read them and if they dont agree with them dont sign the damn thing!!

  • schoeman.charlene - 2012-02-09 11:20

    he did not mention where he worked or names. so why is CAA suspending him?? CAA if the shoe fits...

      Aaron Nkosi - 2012-02-09 11:43

      sure Schoeman he didnt - guilty concious is attacking someone here

      Goldie - 2012-02-09 12:52

      Agree with you Charlene, clearly his statements hit a bit too close to home. Otherwise, why the complete overreaction?

  • Gavin - 2012-02-09 11:32

    There's always somebody watching...

  • bmaestro - 2012-02-09 11:32

    facebook have settings to restrict people who view your wall postings,status updates etc,next time u wanna cry go in your bathroom lock the door weep until the cow come,wipe off your tears and go to work.deactivate your faceboook account man

      Fumanchu - 2012-02-09 11:56

      You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Your FB profile belongs to you, and you can say what ever you want to... just like at any other form of social gathering (weather it be cyberspace or your local youth league gathering). Everyone rants at what an a-hole their boss / client / co-worker can be at some point in time.

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 17:57

      Your facebook profile DOES NOT in any way shape or form belong to you. Read the terms and conditions and if you dont agree with them DONT ACCEPT.

  • bmaestro - 2012-02-09 11:33

    until u know facebook is not actually a BOOK!!!

      Ryan - 2012-02-09 12:19

      Chuck Norris can tear pages out of Facebook.

      jade.bulley - 2012-02-09 12:38

      LOL Ryan!!!!!!

      Barker - 2012-02-09 12:40

      Vernon Koekemoer can tear pages out of Chuck

  • Aaron Nkosi - 2012-02-09 11:40

    someone is just guilty of his/her competency here

  • Jabu - 2012-02-09 11:41

    This people are thinking through their blood not their brains, funy they already had the suspension letter.

      Shaun Robinson - 2012-02-09 12:41

      @Jabu - Yes and Iv speakst wery delishous Engleish!!!

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 17:58

      Mike is 100% correct. Shaun, you are a tosser.

      heinrich.crouse - 2012-02-09 23:06

      Ye. They had decided already. No explanation was going to change their minds. Shaun and the thumbs up brigade - WTF? A keen observation and a typo, and you lot of white trash are gunning like little inbred terriers.

      Sipho - 2012-02-10 04:24

      tell him, Mike, tell him! and while we is at it, let me teach YOU about the apostrophe "your a chop" - she must be "you're a chop" "Lets see" - she must be "Let's see" "Your so so clever" - she must be "You're so so clever" "cant even tie" - she must be "can't even tie" I thinks you didn't pay the attentions in ingleesh klas, or else the apostrophe key is missing from yur komputer!!!!

  • Olivia - 2012-02-09 12:17

    When will such people ever learn!

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-09 12:17

    Who forwaded the update in the 1st place? Shows how backstabing your colleagues can be ¤jealousy is a desease i tell ya¤

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-09 12:18

    Who forwaded the update in the 1st place? Shows how backstabing your colleagues can be ¤jealousy is a desease i tell ya¤

  • christian.gandhi.burkert - 2012-02-09 12:48

    You guys commenting really think that Facebook is your space for venting your feelings towards your boss? I can't believe how many of you are supporting this idiot! Imagine you're the boss (imagine) and an employee comes up to you and says you're a jackass. Would you not fire that person? Facebook is just like that, but instead you're telling hundreds of people that your boss is a jackass! There is NOTHING private about Facebook, if you aren't being sold a product, you are the product!

      Hendrik - 2012-02-09 13:26

      At least one thought through sensible comment. Far too many people "shoot their mouth off" about all kinds of everything on facebook without any regard for the consequences or the harm they may cause others.

      Heiku - 2012-02-09 17:59

      Sensible comment in a sea of idiocy. +1

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-09 13:14

    If neither the CAA or the senior's were identified directly there is no case. The best action if you are unhappy is to tell the people to their faces, Corporate culture and its purveyors are possibly the worst examples of human beings on the planet, who will use any excuse to assert their authority and delusion of grandeur

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-09 13:15

    He should not have been suspended but rather fired.

  • Yolanda - 2012-02-09 13:21

    Don't people ever learn??? if your colleagues are on your friends list - SHUT UP about your discontent regarding work issues. Even if they are not, just DON'T take that chance. too many of these stories have been documented already.

  • RobertKeeling - 2012-02-09 13:32

    Once again it proves that no matter how stupid or incompetent your seniors are (especially in Government), don't you dare tell anyone else by whatever means. They do not like the world to know that intelligence is not a must in senior government posts, only good connections. Problems in CAA should concern all pilot, as it concerns me!

  • AllanLouiseOelschig - 2012-02-09 13:35


  • Sean - 2012-02-09 13:36

    Whatever you do NEVER the truth

  • Nkosinathi - 2012-02-09 13:44

    The issue here is "are his allegations valid or not" it is not about whether he expressed them on fb, the suggestion box or anywhere else. The world is changing the way we communicate and we need to change with it. We used to communicate via letetrs through the postal system which would take days to get to the recipient if at all. This sounds like a classic case of incompetent deployed cadres trying to sweep the rot under the carpet. What happened to whistle blowing? Fire the guy and hope the incompetence goes unnoticed? We will all catch a wake up when a plane falls out of the sky or there is a mid-air collision.

      Dhavandran - 2012-02-09 15:21

      your wait won't be long cos the taxi association plane will make a mid-air stop to pick up more paxes.

  • Uknowimrite - 2012-02-09 13:53


  • jacqui.grigg - 2012-02-09 14:12

    What a betrayal! However there is a story behind the story and THAT is the real reason the person got suspended - unfairly. However, he who laughs last.... Watch this space.

  • John - 2012-02-09 14:14

    Well obviously what he had to say was true... which is why they reacted this way

  • JayJohnsonS - 2012-02-09 14:26

    Keep your friends close and your colleagues on limited FB profile

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-02-09 14:29


  • Don - 2012-02-09 14:33

    So how did this internal petty issue get to the press ?. Surely we have some better news than this ?. Most likely "leaked" by the same person that is on his facbook profile or that has it in for this inspector. Sounds more like a disgrunteled colleague sneaking in the background. Before claiming his guilt in the media, did they consider whose PC was used ? and if one @ work then who did the posting ?... was the FB password "remembered" by that pc, and if so was it him or the someone else that does not like this person that could have posted the comment ?. Very harsh and inappropriate to suspend an employee for a personal matter unless they are 100% sure of their facts and it affects his employment relationship. What will the enquiry look into ?... also the level of "competency" of those referred to as well ? and what level is that ? international ? If they find some level of "incompentency" was this guy doing wrong?. mmmm one wonders maybe this is actually news worthy ?.

  • edward.d.beesley - 2012-02-09 14:43

    News24, the quality of your reporting is going from shocking to worse!!!

  • cobus.potgieter1 - 2012-02-09 14:47

    Face it - do not Facebook it, more true than ever.

  • Dhavandran - 2012-02-09 15:17

    LOL,never take on a government parastatal.we don't have freedom of expression anymore.information bill,weather information bill?????what bill next? ah, facebook supression bill.!!!!

  • Mandy - 2012-02-09 16:13

    My guess is that the only reason he has been suspended is because what he has said is true. What idiots! Everyone !!! is entitled to express an opinion !

  • ina.f.chatwind - 2012-02-09 16:27

    Does "human rights" not include the freedom of airing your opinion? Anarchists!

  • Anthony - 2012-02-09 16:48

    "There was no mention of the CAA or specific colleagues. There was also no mention in his profile or on the page that he worked for the authority - only that he was a contract pilot." He did nothing wrong, the CAA should be sued.

  • phillip.havenga - 2012-02-09 18:32

    What you do in private has stuff all to do with your employees, this is just plain ridiculous.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-02-09 19:28

    If you cant say what you like on Facebook, then why even join, I will say what I like and about whom I want to, and to hell with the rest of the world if they dont like what I say.

  • braamc - 2012-02-09 20:15

    Was just speaking the truth

  • marina.poniatowska - 2012-02-09 22:18

    Facebook is personal, keep is personal. There's been numerous articles published about this very issue and how it could impact your professional life. There's no cure for stupidity.

  • heinrich.crouse - 2012-02-09 23:10

    He was a fool, but that should be legal. It afflicts everyone.

  • naphtaly.calvin - 2012-02-09 23:59

    How absurd!!!

  • Sipho - 2012-02-10 04:26

    when will the peoples understand that whisteblowers who expose korruptions and incompetencicies will not be tolarated?

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-10 08:07


  • Steph - 2012-02-10 05:31

    The CAA has no ground to stand on - he didn't mention them , or any particular person, and as long as his profile is not set to PUBLIC it's unlikely that anyone except his family and friends would see it - so unless they all know the incompetent idiots he referred to - it's unlikely that anyone of any consequence would know who it was about .... find out who the tattle tale is and bliksem their ass ... ekse

  • Vuyo - 2012-02-10 07:52

    Companies don't allow employees to vent their anger at work , so things like this are bound to happen . People have emotions too .

  • Adalia - 2012-02-10 08:42

    Always having a laugh reading the commets. Firstly none of you know the full story. The article never gives the whole story. Whos to say he was in deepwater already, and this was just the final straw

  • Nirosha - 2012-02-10 09:49

    I see it all the time. Its simply unacceptable to bad mouth your employer or colleagues. Social networks are a public forum, it was in his best interests to block them. Remember once you put something out there, you cannot take it back.

  • candice.raley - 2012-02-10 10:40

    Like really I see facebook just coursing nonsense for people and people should really think before they post. There was one case where a father killed a couple because they defriended the daughter on facebook. Like seriously???

  • mpuse.phokeng - 2012-02-10 11:01

    His problem is the use of language. If you do it, use idioms and riddles so thatnthere is an element of doubt.

  • peter.mcfie - 2012-02-10 16:38

    ha ha ha, twat :)

  • peter.mcfie - 2012-02-10 16:40

    he he he what a twit, send a email to my ; we can make it anon if you like :)

  • rob.martin.94402343 - 2013-03-13 17:55

    Truth hurts, CAA cant take it.