Moja Café probes employee's strip search claims, supervisor suspended

2019-03-28 18:30

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A Soweto restaurant is probing allegations that a supervisor humiliated a female employee and ordered her to strip naked, accusing her of stealing money.

The incident apparently happened after customers walked out of the restaurant without paying the bill.

In an audio clip, Moja Café employee Nikita Ntshingila said she was ordered to strip and place her sanitary pad on a table.

"I have been working there for a while now. Since I had a walkout from people whom I don't believe they would walk out on me (sic) if my manager didn't take time to print their bill, whereby they did. I was harassed and was taken to a storeroom where I was ordered to remove my clothes. They didn't find anything. Worst part, I was on my period and that girl (the supervisor) and she is a colleague of mine. How am I going to work with after everything and even the apology, I haven't even had a sincere one. I don't think they understand how I feel (sic). 

"I was told strip butt naked so they can check if I have the money or not. I don't [know] what to do at this moment. I don't know if should I go to the cops. I don't know if they take this as serious as I feel. I don't know.

Ntshingila said she also had to put her bra on the able.

"I was stripped for over R3 000. I have never felt such pain in my life. How am I going to work with that girl after she saw everything that I have? How I look physically, from my body, my scars everything and how I look physically from removing my bra (sic)?

"Even the owner hasn't come to me. Nobody has never had a meeting with me to make me understand. I was required to work and move away from it and be strong. I don't know how [to do] this. I don't know how. I tried sending them a message. Nobody replied to me," she said.

In a statement the eatery released on Wednesday, it reiterated that the restaurant and its management didn't tolerate any form of misconduct and harassment, adding that the same was expected from all staff members.

"We have taken drastic measures and have requested legal statements from all parties involved and are currently conducting an urgent internal investigation with the help of our legal and labour practitioners.

"The female supervisor who conducted the search has been placed on immediate suspension, pending the outcome which will inform our way forward. What we can confirm for now is that a female staff member was searched by a female supervisor on suspicion of theft," read the statement.

The restaurant claimed it didn't have the full details of what transpired in the room, saying the female supervisor denied the allegations.

It promised to send a complete response once investigations were completed.

Read more on:    johannesburg
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