City of Tshwane workers up in arms over alleged racial slurs

2017-01-19 19:14
EFF councillors and supporters at the Tshwane Energy department, demanding that acting director Frans du Toit step down following allegations of racism. (Supplied)

EFF councillors and supporters at the Tshwane Energy department, demanding that acting director Frans du Toit step down following allegations of racism. (Supplied)

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Pretoria – City of Tshwane workers have lodged a formal complaint against the acting energy director claiming he called them ka**rs and baboons, the ANC in Tshwane said on Thursday.

The complaint against Frans du Toit was lodged with the city's management last Friday, spokesperson for ANC in Tshwane Lesego Makhubela said.

Du Toit declined to comment saying: "It is council policy that we don't speak to any press."

Makhubela said after the complaint was lodged with the city, its human resources department allegedly fired the workers who had challenged du Toit's racial slurs.

However, city spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said following the allegations the regional office met with the complainants and their union to discuss the matter.

Mgobozi said the union could not provide evidence to support the allegations.  

Workers in unprotected strike

"The accused maintains the quarrel is a direct result of the introduction of new management systems to deal with excessive overtime claims and other procedural practices," Mgobozi said.

He said the matter had been referred for further investigation but that a group of workers had since gone on an unprotected strike and intimidated other employees.

"We are in the process of sourcing an urgent court interdict against them to return to work or face disciplinary hearings. In the meantime, the city is making use of contractors and employees from other regions to ensure that service delivery is uninterrupted."

However, Makhubela condemned the alleged slurs.

"Such remarks are reminiscent of the apartheid and national party attitude towards the indigenous people of this country."

"He [du Toit] has also degraded black people as people not deserving of the jobs they are currently occupying because of ANC policies and their skills and qualifications as he claims that black people are inherently inadequate, unequal to the task and must only work as messengers and gardeners," he said.

'The people run this municipality'

On Thursday, in support of the workers, the EFF members visited du Toit's Centurion office.

EFF councillor Kintiki Mazwi said party members had gone to the offices of the Department of Energy to discuss the allegations with du Toit.

"We told him we were not criminals but councillors. Our oath allows us to attend to urgent matters in this city," said Mazwi.

Mazwi said the EFF couldn't allow black people to suffer in DA-run Tshwane.

"The people run this municipality," he said.

Tshwane was previously an ANC-led metro, but lost it to the DA in the 2016 municipal elections.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  tshwane  |  racism

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