A Tshwane metro employee claims the city’s mayoral committee member for sports and culture, Nozipho Makeke, fired her following rumours that she joined Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
In a bid to get her job back, Minky Radebe has reported the matter to the SA Local Government Association (Salga) Bargaining Council.
Radebe told City Press she received a call from Makeke to come and work as her office messenger on June 5 this year.
She said Makeke told her to work before signing her contract and allegedly told Radebe she spoke to human resources head Thabo Mokebe to draft it for her.
“She told me to be patient and promised to pay me my June and July salaries at the of July,” she said.
Makeke, who lives in Olievenhoutbosch township, said things changed when she found Makeke’s adviser, known to her as Tshepo, and her acting personal assistant, Lulu White, holding a meeting.
“They then told me that mayoral committee members cannot keep on firing people on suspicions that they were EFF members. I asked them what they were talking about and Lulu told me that the ANC Woman’s League Olievenhoutbosch branch chairperson Annah Sibanda told Makeke to fire me because I have joined the EFF,” she claimed. “I told her that I’m not a member of EFF and that I’m still a member of the ANC.”
Makeke, however, denies Radebe’s claims, saying that she could work for any government department “even if she is a member of EFF”.
Radebe said she tried to contact Makeke to discuss the matter with her but she ignored her phone calls and failed to respond to her text messages.
Radebe said that a few days later, Mokebe and another official approached her and told her to stop working with immediate effect.
“They told me that the council would not pay me if I got injured while in the line of duty. They told me to go home. When I asked them about my money they referred me to Makeke, who still ignored my phone calls,” she said.
Radebe said that she took the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration but the officials referred her to Salga’s bargaining council.
“I spoke to some guy called Sipho who registered my case. It is so unfair for them to fire me based on rumours. I have got the right to work for any government institution irrespective of my political association. But I’m not an EFF member, I’m ANC and my blood will forever be green, gold and black,” she said.
Sibanda denied that she told Makeke to fire Radebe for dumping the ANC to join EFF.
“What I know is that there was a discussion at the ANC Women’s League branch meeting about Minky being member of EFF, but I did not tell Makeke to fire her. I don’t appreciate that she is ruining my reputation by spreading lies about me and I’m considering taking legal action against her,” said Sibanda.
Makeke denied Radebe’s claims that she fired her because she joined the EFF.
“I called Minky to work in my office as a messenger because the person who was doing the job is now working in our Cullinan regional offices after being involved in a car accident. I told her that she should come and work as volunteer and apply for the position when it is advertised,” she said.
Makeke said they couldn’t advertise the post quickly because they wanted to absorb staff from the Motsweding municipality, which has now been incorporated into the city.
“So we told her to stay at home until we advertise the post. It is not true that she was our employee and we fired her because she joined EFF. Those are the things that are being discussed by her comrades in her township and I’m not involved. She can work for any government institution even if she is a member of EFF,” said Makeke.
Salga declined to comment and referred City Press to Radebe’s lawyer Isaiah Shongwe.
Shongwe said Radebe’s case is before the bargaining council and will go for arbitration at a date to be decided.
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