Picture: Reuters
Durban - The PG Glass employee, Deresh Ashokumar, who posted a demeaning picture - of a heavily pregnant black woman having an ultrasound whose image shows a gorilla as the baby - on the company WhatsApp group, has been fired.

Welcome Ntshangase, PG Glass Group’s human resources director, on Tuesday said no other verdict could possibly be meted for the offence, according to company policy.

Ntshangase said they were only alerted to the transgression by the media and swift action was taken to ensure that normalcy was retained in the workplace.

“When this was brought to my attention, in the form of an article in the Daily News at the beginning of December, I took the article to the board. The next day, I flew down to Durban to address the employees and apologise to them for the conduct. While I was addressing them, I could see and feel their anger,” Ntshangase said.

He said a hearing was held and Ashokumar was dismissed.

“All due processes were followed before the decision was taken. That WhatsApp group is a company tool and his conduct brought the company into disrepute. We apologised to the employees and assured them that there was no witch-hunt so we will not be looking at who took this to the media. If I find out there’s anybody who is trying to victimise whoever went to the press with this disgrace, I’ll take harsh action against them,” Ntshangase said.

He said PG Glass was a family-oriented company and would not allow a work environment where there were racial tensions. Further, he said the company would not protect one employee at the expense of the rest.

The employee who alerted the Daily News was delighted with the outcome of the internal processes.

“This man should have apologised the moment he was warned that what he did was wrong.

“Instead, it took him weeks before he apologised, and even with that apology, he did not show remorse. He was not sorry at all,” the employee said.

The Daily News reported on November 30 that the photo posted by Ashokumar had angered the company’s black employees who said Durban branch management had not taken the matter seriously.

Ashokumar said the photo was sent to him by an unknown person via WhatsApp and a couple of days later he accidentally posted it on the company WhatsApp group.

He did not respond to calls for comment on Tuesday.

Daily News