Cape Town - Audit firm PwC has moved swiftly to fire its executive who racially abused a black family at Cape Town International Airport.
Alistair Hofert, who was cognitive and intelligent automation lead and associate director at PwC, parted ways with the multinational on Monday following a disciplinary inquiry.
PwC did not name Hofert in the response it supplied to The Star on Monday, but his identity was exposed on social media at the weekend.
Calling for Hofert’s immediate sacking, many circulated his picture on Twitter.
Bulelani Ngcauzele, who took to Twitter to expose Hofert harassing her family, put pressure on PwC to act against him. She tweeted: “@PwC this racist is part of your staff. Is this really what you stand for in post-apartheid South Africa? In 2019? A black family minding their own business in a public space was attacked by one of your own!”
I repeatedly asked him to leave us alone and step away and he wouldn’t. We called for security and nobody helped. They just looked on. An airline counter employee called the police who came to apprehend him and we have opened a case. @PwC is this what you stand for? pic.twitter.com/KteWdSaeuv
Ngcauzele revealed that Hofert charged at her family, who had gone to the airport to see off her stepfather.
She said the man was swearing and going on about how “you people” had messed up the country.
In videos tht Ngcauzele posted, a visibly drunk Hofert was heard ranting about how he gives money “to you people”.
“Do you know that I’ve given R150 million to your people?” he asked the family members.
Hofert first targeted Ngcauzele’s mother, who at some point told him: “But you’re not paying money to me”.
He retorted: “Ja, but I’m giving it to the public.”
Ridiculing the mother, he said: “You and your gold hat, I’m giving money to people”
“What does my gold hat have to do with you and the money that you give to this country?” the mother asked, before telling him that his behaviour was unacceptable.
Asked who cared if he gave money to South Africa, Hofert raised his voice and shouted “because I give money to you people”.
PwC announced at the weekend that it had initiated an investigation into the incident and apologised to the family.
On Monday, it labelled Hofert’s actions racist and revealed he had left immediately.
“PwC can confirm that the employee who was involved in a racist incident at Cape Town International Airport on Thursday evening has left the firm with immediate effect following disciplinary steps initiated by the firm over the weekend pending a formal investigation into the incident by senior leadership of the firm," said Fulvio Tonelli, PwC Africa chief operating officer.
“PwC has a zero-tolerance policy on racism and will act strongly and decisively if any employee is found to have transgressed our values and policies, regardless of whether the misconduct occurs outside of the workplace environment or not.”
Hofert did not answer calls or respond to an SMS sent to him.
Cape Town police are investigating a case of crimen injuria.