Domestic takes Phat Joe to CCMA

By Lisa Isaacs Time of article published Mar 14, 2016

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Lisa Isaacs

TAKING celebrity and radio personality, Phat Joe, to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for allegedly firing his domestic worker via SMS must send a clear message to employers that domestic workers’ rights cannot be abused.

This was the message from the SA Domestic Service and Allied Workers' Union (Sadsawu) who came to support domestic worker Nontembiso Vumazonke.

She has taken her former employer, Phat Joe, whose real name is Majota Khambule, to the CCMA for unfair labour practice.

Both parties presented their cases to commissioner Janine Carelse yesterday.

Vumazonke had worked for Khambule three days per week, since July 2011.

She was however an unregistered worker and at the end of last year was effectively “dismissed” via SMS, she said.

When she tried contacting Khambule after her leave period, he allegedly would not answer his phone.

Sadsawu says Khambule also refused to take calls from them and failed to respond to various emails.

Union members accompanied Vumazonke to the CCMA sitting yesterday.

Sadsawu provincial organiser Sindiswa Ningiza said Khambule did not deny sending the SMS, but had said he did not receive some of the messages from the union.

She said he also denied that he had mistreated Vumazonke.

Ningiza said: “It makes me furious; we have solutions for the employers and employees. Even for those who have more money than him, they come down to us and we resolve the problems. He is here today because of the struggles of domestic workers – a woman that he undermined,” she said.

“This is to send a message to all the employers and the celebrities that have money. Everyone who has a domestic worker, they must register the domestic worker and give the domestic worker respect and respect their rights. Domestic work is a decent work.”

Khambule yesterday refused to comment on the matter.

Vumazonke said she wanted to be compensated for the manner in which she was fired and for the five years she had worked for Khambule.

“I am the breadwinner in my home.

“I am a mother and father,” she said.

The loss of her job had impacted her ability to take care of her three young children, Vumazonke said.

She added that she wanted Khambule to admit what he had done.

“I feel good after today,” she added.

The matter was postponed and Vumazonke said they would be notified in the coming weeks of the next CCMA sitting.

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