Lid lifted on ‘rot’ in luxury estate

Brettenwood Coastal Estate, a KwaZulu-Natal property development. | Supplied

Brettenwood Coastal Estate, a KwaZulu-Natal property development. | Supplied

Published Apr 2, 2024


Durban — A former security manager and access controller at a luxury KZN estate has accused his employer of corruption, labelling him a whistle-blower and firing him over false allegations.

The 37-year-old said he was dismissed from Brettenwood Coastal Estate on February 15. He cannot be named because he faces allegations of a sexual nature.

In a suspension notice, the estate management said, “As outlined in our meeting of February 19, 2024, it has been alleged that you committed rape, sexual (sic) harassed staff of a service provider, performed acts of a sexual nature with this employee and committed corruption/bribery at the workplace and we will be thoroughly looking into these allegations going forward.”

He said he was denied the right to bring in a representative to the hearing; the chairperson also refused to electronically record the hearing minutes.

“My rights were violated at that hearing, and my lawyer is filing for the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to appeal.

“I have been telling the estate manager and the service provider about the risks and the estate manager kept saying I should keep quiet and not mention this to anyone.

“At the estate, the risk is that there is no absolute control on access. Any photo downloaded from social media can be used to access our estate and potentially other estates that use the same service provider and software.”

The security manager and other security service providers had warned the estate manager of these risks, he said.

“He (estate manager) has also let in vehicles that are specifically not allowed as per our code of conduct, by using emergency protocol.

“At one stage, he did not verify if it was a resident or homeowner and this vehicle was carrying numerous visitors but no biometric access was used nor was an access code used.”

He said questionable incidents continually surfaced at Brettenwood Coastal Estate when the estate manager received a gift from the current service provider who got a tender.

There was a conflict of interest in the awarding of the tender, he said. The service provider, he said, had initially come in as a security risk assessment officer, however, they later discovered that they (the estate manager and service provider) had known each other for a long time.

“I was the only one who was doing this and warning the estate manager and the service provider about it so they got rid of me.

“The new service providers are all friends and acquaintances of the estate management that's why I was told to keep quiet, ‘You are a whistle-blower’.”

Some concerned residents, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that they had sent several emails to the management regarding safety and security for the past 11 months.

“When we take the matter into our own hands the board sends threatening letters to us.”

On behalf of the estate management, Nicholas Graham said the Brettenwood Coastal Estate Homeowners Association denies the accusations but declines to comment or engage in further discussions on allegations made by a former staff member who was dismissed following a confidential disciplinary hearing.

The axed employee said after a rape and sexual harassment case was opened against him at the uMhlali SAPS, he handed himself over to the police and was released on a R1 500 bail. He is due back in court on April 26.

WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.

Daily News