'Racist' licensing official in viral video has been dismissed

04 June 2019 - 14:00 By Nonkululeko Njilo

A licensing department official who came under fire for alleged aggression and racist utterances against a client in Bedfordview last month, has been fired with immediate effect, the City of Ekurhuleni confirmed on Tuesday.

The municipality said it "acted swiftly to institute disciplinary processes" following "egregious racist remarks" and aggression against a client.  

"The official failed to make a substantive written submission on why his contract should not be terminated. Subsequently, the city had no option but to dismiss the employee with immediate effect," said spokesperson Themba Gabede.

He said the city viewed the conduct as "constituting exceptional circumstances" as envisaged in the Labour Relations Act, whereby pre-dismissal procedures may be dispensed with.  

A client who witnessed and intervened during the incident, Gavin Sharples, earlier said he had been at the licensing department to renew his driver's licence when he witnessed an official "berating, insulting and humiliating" a young man who was there for his learner's or driver's licence. He lodged a complaint about the way the young man was treated.