Namibian fuel station boss suspends himself over ‘whipping game’

Namibian fuel station boss accused of whipping workers for loans. Picture: Gerd Altman/Pixabay

Namibian fuel station boss accused of whipping workers for loans. Picture: Gerd Altman/Pixabay

Published Mar 5, 2023


Rustenburg – A fuel station owner in northern Namibia, accused of whipping his employees, has put himself on 14 days suspension along with the involved employees to allow for investigations.

According to Namibian media, Micke du Preez announced his own suspension through his lawyer after videos of him whipping his employees went viral this week.

In the video, Du Preez was filmed whipping some of his employees. The workers were allegedly whipped for a loan of N$100 (R100) per lashing.

The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported that Du Preez and his workers have come out in defence of a video that showed employees being beaten.

The employer and employee claimed the beating was part of a game they play at work, which has been taken out of context.

One worker, Willem Duran, resigned on Tuesday, claiming he wanted to come clean about what happened.

He told The Namibian that they were promised N$5 000 to lie about the whipping game.

Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma, on Wednesday instructed a team of labour inspectors to investigate the matter.

His lawyer, Richard Metcalfe, told daily newspaper The Namibian that Du Preez placed himself on suspension to allow unimpeded investigations.

“To allow an unimpeded investigation, Mr Du Preez has placed himself on suspension for a period of 14 days to allow the labour consultant free access in order to provide an appropriate recommendation,” the daily reported.

The involved workers would receive their full pay during this period.

Metcalfe said Du Preez condemned his actions and involvement in the “whipping game”, which he has apologised for.

A former supervisor at the service station, Sammy Monyai, leaked videos to the media in which male employees were seen being whipped on their buttocks with a stick by Du Preez, The Namibian reported.

Monyai left his job of nine years as a supervisor on February 9 after saying the workers were enduring abuse at the hands of Du Preez when they asked for loans.

Du Preez has so far denied the abuse.