'You people' ranter leaves PwC amid disciplinary hearing

2019-06-03 19:20
PwC

PwC

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A PricewaterhouseCoopers Africa (PwC) executive, who was video recorded going on a racial rant, has left the well-known audit firm following disciplinary steps.

On Monday, PwC confirmed to News24 that the man, who was caught harassing a family at Cape Town International Airport, was no longer with the firm.

PwC Africa’s chief operating officer, Fulvio Tonelli, said that following the racist incident, the firm had initiated "disciplinary steps" over the weekend pending a formal investigation into the incident by the firm’s senior leadership.

READ: Woman lays charge against executive after unprovoked 'you people' rant at airport

"PwC has a zero-tolerance policy on racism and will act strongly and decisively if any employee is found to have transgressed our values and policies, regardless of whether the misconduct occurs outside of the workplace environment or not."

Tonelli added that the employee had left with immediate effect after disciplinary steps were initiated.

News24 asked PwC for clarity on whether the executive had left before a disciplinary hearing commenced, if he left after, or if he was fired. PwC refused to comment.

'You people'

According to Bulelani Ngcauzele, she and her family had taken their stepfather to the airport on Thursday and were at the ticket counter sorting out a booking issue when the confrontation with the man started.

"My mom was standing behind us with his trolley and luggage. This man came up to her with his suitcase and ticket in hand [without a reason to be at the counter] and started going off about how f…d up the country is because of 'you people'," Ngcauzele said.

"She was very calm about it and told him to leave her alone, but he continued to harass her. He thought she was on her own, but my brother was making a video of what was happening."

Ngcauzele said she had intervened when the man charged her brother, wanting to take his cellphone.

"He was nasty and ridiculous. He told us that all he wanted to do was 'help you people' and how he had invested R150m in this country. He was going on about how he ploughed into SA and that 'these people' were not fit to lead."

What further upset her was that while the man went on his tirade, airport security watched the altercation without intervening. This despite her asking for help, Ngcauzele said.

Eventually, a staff member from the airline her father was flying with came to check on him and saw the unfolding commotion. He then phoned the police.

"[The man] went toward the bathroom as if he was running away, then headed toward the boarding gates. The police followed him and when he tried to board the officers told him they were aware that there had been an incident," Ngcauzele said.

Crimen injuria

She added that the man was taken to the police station, but by the time they had arrived to lay charges, he had already been released.

News24 previously reported that a case of crimen injuria had been opened following the incident. News24 has not identified the man owing to the pending criminal charge. He will be identified once he appears in court.

ACSA

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) spokesperson Deborah Francis said the incident was "concerning and unacceptable".

"An investigation will be initiated as it relates to this incident. It is standard procedure for all staff at the airport to contact the South African Police Services in the event of any incidents such as this or any other untoward activity that may impact airport user/s." 

Should any airport user feel uncomfortable or threatened by any individual or situation at the airport, they should contact any ACSA staff member and they would ensure that the police were contacted immediately, she added.

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