File photo: Paul Sakuma/AP
Cape Town  - KFC has fired the manager of one of its Somerset West outlets over allegations of racism after some employees claimed she repeatedly called them “a bunch of monkeys”.

The public affairs director for Africa KFC, Thabisa Mkhwanazi, said the manager was dismissed following an external probe and an in-depth internal disciplinary process by human resources.

“We strongly believe that... acts of non-inclusion and discrimination have no place in our society and our business. Furthermore... we comply with the South African labour law legislation to ensure that our team members are always treated fairly and with respect at every level,” she said.

The restaurant manager was suspended in July while the case was under investigation. A crimen injuria case against her was opened in June.

Employees at the branch hailed the company for its action, saying they were relieved the manager had been dismissed. They claimed the manager threatened to fire them after they approached their union regarding her alleged remarks.

They said the first time she allegedly made racist remarks was when an inspector was due to visit the store. She was allegedly angry and said “I don’t know why I’m placed with a bunch of monkeys”.

“We were unhappy but kept that to ourselves because... we thought she had just said that out of anger, but it happened again,” the employees said.

“One of us was also sent away, as if she was the ‘trouble-maker’, to work in another store. She has been brought back... and we are working under another manager.”

Their union, the Democratic Transport and Allied Workers’ Union, said: “We want the company to root out racism... The company should have acted swiftly the moment it was made aware of the issue, rather than wait for it to get to the public.”

Cape Times