DURBAN - THE Labour Court in Braamfontein, Johannesburg will on Thursday hear the matter between First National Bank and one of its fired employees, Mariza Benrkia.
The former senior Team Leader, Benrkia has accused the bank of unfair dismissal and discrimination.
Speaking to the Daily News on Wednesday, Benrkia said she is grateful that the court will finally hear the matter, which has taken more than five years.
She was fired in 2015.
She added that although she had no previous warnings nor charges against her, the dismissal came after she lodged a grievance against her Operational Manager, who allegedly faked her signature and submitted a poor performance ratings review.
Additional victimisation reports were apparently reported to FNB executives, but no intervention allegedly came from the top bosses.
Benrkia claimed she was badly treated by her senior manager at the bank and was further victimised when she was demoted and then fired. She has been out of work since.
“My 13-year-old daughter continues to pray for me as she sees that I have not been well since I was unfairly dismissed. I am also happy that the people of this country are now taking a stand against banks that behave like bullies,” she said.
Tanya Malighan, from Cowan-Harper-Madikizela Attorneys, confirmed that the firm would be representing FNB in the matter.
Meanwhile, a case was opened on Tuesday against First Rand Bank and FNB by Adil Nchabeleng of Transform RSA at the Johannesburg Central police station. Nchabeleng was joined by Reginald Letswalo of Sanco, Dumisani Thango of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans and Tahir Maepa, of the Public Service and Commercial Union of South Africa (PSCU-SA).
The bank is accused of providing banking facilities to EOH, despite reports of the company being implicated in acts of corruption.
Civil society movements from community-based organisations and NGO’s have mobilised to picket in protest against FNB and Absa for racial profiling. The campaign convenor, Nchabeleng, said that the planned picket was a non-political and multi-stakeholder initiative similar to #BlackLivesMatter.
“The march is targeting all affected black people who have been racially prejudiced by the banks. It includes workers, students, black-owned businesses, home loan owners, cars, finance and repossession and shutting of black business accounts,” said Nchabeleng.
Industry expert and popular financial consultant and investigator Emerald van Zyl confirmed that his company had received requests from the bank’s employees to intervene.
He added that the banks will meet resistance as the institutions have deliberately violated the constitution and discriminate against black people.