- Nehawu has criticised Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba for vilifying a border post employee
- A video emerged of a border post agent flipping through her phone while working at the Beitbridge port of entry
- Gigaba Tweeted that the employee would face disciplinary action
The National Health and Allied Union (Nehawu) has criticised Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba for vilifying and publicly rebuking a border post employee who was recorded playing with her phone while on duty.
A video emerged on social media of the woman flipping through her phone while stamping passports at the busy Beitbridge port of entry between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The video has since gone viral and Gigaba tweeted that the woman in the video would face disciplinary action.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Nehawu was critical of Gigaba’s decision to publicly rebuking the employee. The union said it condemned the continued prosecution of its members in a court of public opinion, which was brought on by the minister’s tweet.
''We reject the vilifying of our member in public instead of subjecting her to an internal disciplinary process if the department believes that she has a transgression to answer to,'' the union said in a statement.
The department of home affairs later said the employee and her supervisors would be disciplined because the video clearly showed her to be in violation of the department’s policy on cell phone usage at workstations.
Director-general Mkuseli Apleni said: ''Of major concern to me is the fact that the official is dealing with security documents without paying attention to detail and rather preoccupied with her cellular phone. To this end, we have commenced with disciplinary measures against the official and the three supervisors.”
Nehawu shot back by decrying working conditions at the border post. The union said huge workloads and long working hours had become the norm because the department refused to fill vacant positions.
Nehawu said the department refused to pay workers for overtime, yet it expected them to put in extra effort. The union said it hoped the same energy used in vilifying its members would be used when the time came to pay bonuses.
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