File picture: Paul Sakuma/AP
Cape Town - A KFC manager in Somerset West has been suspended over racial misconduct allegations after some employees claimed she had called them a “bunch of monkeys”.

KFC public affairs director for Africa-KFC, Thabisa Mkhwanazi, said the company “strongly and unequivocally” condemned acts of non-inclusion and discrimination in the business and strong action would be taken against this.

“We take the allegations of racial misconduct brought against a restaurant manager seriously and we will continue to move swiftly while maintaining the integrity of our internal HR disciplinary process, in accordance with the South African labour law guidelines. 

"The restaurant manager has been suspended while this case is under investigation and we will work closely with the authorities in their investigation. We’re an inclusive brand and believe that such behaviour has no place in our society,” said Mkhwanazi.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said a crimen injuria case had been opened.

Some KFC employees at the branch said the manager had threatened to fire them after they approached their union regarding her alleged remarks.

“The first time she made racist remarks was when an inspector was going to visit the store. She was angry and said ‘I don’t know why I’m placed with bunch of monkeys’. We were unhappy but kept that to ourselves because it was the first time and we thought she had just said that out of anger but it happened again,” the employees said.

The employees’ union, the Democratic Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Detawu), has expressed concern at how police handled the matter.

“We are not convinced that the issue is being prioritised or treated fairly by both the police and the company. The case was opened by one employee at the beginning of June but the manager was recently arrested and the investigating police never got back to us up until last week,” the union said.

“One of the vocal workers was sent away to work at another store as if we are the wrong ones.”

Cape Times