'Remember Marikana‚ white boy?' Rant that cost SAA man his job

13 October 2018 - 15:13 By Dave Chambers
Crosses mark the koppie at Marikana, North West, where 34 miners were killed in August 2012.
Crosses mark the koppie at Marikana, North West, where 34 miners were killed in August 2012.
Image: DANIEL BORN/ File photo

An SAA shop steward called the chairperson of a disciplinary hearing “a white boy” then threw a booklet at him‚ the labour court in Johannesburg has heard.

Then Khathuthelo Mavhungu‚ who was upset that SAA had not recognised his union‚ the National Transport Movement‚ berated Willem Grobler about the Marikana massacre.

“What would it take for us to get recognised‚ would another 35 people need to get killed?” he yelled‚ banging the table and flinging a copy of the SAA disciplinary code at Grobler’s head.

Mavhungu‚ who was an SAA customer services agent for 12 years and had a clean disciplinary record‚ was fired for his behaviour. After losing his case at the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration‚ he appealed to the labour court.

But in his ruling this week‚ Judge Edwin Tlhotlhamaje said his dismissal was fair‚ calling his Marikana comment “shameless in the extreme”.

The judge said: “The Marikana tragedy is well documented‚ and will forever remain an unforgettable stain on our relatively new democracy. For it to be used for whatever purpose in making a point is inexcusable.”

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