One manager's attempt to use props to convey a message to fellow SARS employees has landed her in a fair bit of trouble. Susan Fourie, a manager at the tax behemoth, had used a toy gorilla to address black staff members and it was not well received.
Susan Fourie, a manager at the South African Revenue Service, is currently facing a disciplinary hearing after a botched attempt to communicate with staff.
The senior official has 'caused offence and embarrassment' after presenting a toy gorilla to black co-workers as a representation of the burden their department was placing on her shoulders.
Sunday Times reports that the data analytics executive has been charged with inappropriate behaviour and contravening the entity's code of conduct.
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Fourie reportedly admits to using the gorilla, but denies any racial motivation, explaining that it had been a visual representation of the 'gorilla of a problem' the department had.
Thato Koloane, one of the employees, said in a statement that her colleagues had been presented with the monkey and had refused to take it, including herself.
The incident had taken place in 2017 but had only recently been reported when a new head of state statistics had been appointed and had noted the reluctance among workers to interact with Fourie's team.
The new head, Victor Munyama, said when he had heard details of the incident his first reaction was guilt and a sense of failure:
"I felt like I have been sending the team to the very same people who think of them as less than human. Giving black staff a black monkey doll to me was just racist, degrading, humiliating, insulting and totally unacceptable in a country like ours where black people have always been subjected to these kinds of racist attacks."
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