SA envoy, domestic in ‘witch’ disputeComment on this story
Pretoria - A woman from Mamelodi claims she is stuck in Thailand after falling out with her employer, the South African ambassador to that country.
But the envoy, Robina Marks, claims she has always been kind to her housekeeper and that she was prepared to pay for her flight back home.
She said letting the woman, Anna Tshehla, go was necessary to protect the integrity of her office, as she (Tshehla) “was involved with criminals”.
Tshehla, 47, claims Marks fired her unfairly after accusing her of being in a relationship with a Liberian national and having plans to bewitch her.
Tshehla, who moved to Bangkok in 2012, said she used to work for Marks in Cape Town, before they moved to the Asian country.
“I used to do piece jobs for her. She told me that she did not have money to help me build a house but that maybe if I moved with her to Thailand I might be able to save money and build myself a house,” she said by telephone.
She said that things turned sour between her and Marks in April. “She told me that she did not trust me any more and I should not clean her bedroom. She claimed that I wanted to bewitch her. She said when I went home in December I came back with muti to bewitch her.”
Things got worse when PJ Powers came to perform in Thailand on Freedom Day. During the performance that was attended by the ambassador, the singer saw Tshehla dressed in her traditional garb and asked her to join her on stage. “We danced and sang. When I got home, the ambassador was angry and told me that I could never be an ambassador like her. She asked me why I had gone on stage.”
PJ Powers performed in Thailand in April as part of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy celebrations.
Tshehla claims that she met the Liberian national at church and they did not have a relationship. “He told me he was Liberian-South African. Now Ruby (Marks) tells me that I have a criminal boyfriend, but I told her he was not my boyfriend.”
Friday was Tshehla’s last day at work and she no longer has a place to stay or the means to come back home. “I went to the office to ask how I am supposed to get home and they gave me quotations for flights. How am I supposed to pay for that? This weekend I am staying with a friend but I can only stay there until (tomorrow). From Monday I need to have a plan.”
Marks said all Tshehla’s claims were false. She had insisted on going to Thailand with Tshehla, instead of retaining the Filipino housekeeper who used to work for her predecessor. “I am surprised she said all these things. This morning we were both crying because it was her last day and we have always had a good relationship. Unfortunately, there were security concerns with Anna that compromised the reputation of the mission.”
She said Tshehla was not stuck in the country but had actually opted to be there until she received her pension payout next month. “She will only receive the pension on July 7 and we have booked flights for July 12.
“She told me that she will be staying with a friend until she flies out home. I have booked flights for her and do not want to embarrass her.”