South Africa: Labour Opens Case On Pointing a Firearm

19 November 2020

The Department of Employment and Labour in Gauteng has opened a case of pointing a firearm against the individual who pulled a gun on two inspectors (female and male) on Tuesday.

According to the department, the incident took place at the Hennopspark Centurion, franchise of Vetkoek Maleis.

A case of pointing a firearm has been opened for investigation at the Centurion Police Station.

The department says trouble started when labour inspectors were doing inspection in the complex.

"Because they were left with three companies to inspect and had run out of time, they decided to go to the three businesses to arrange for inspection at a later stage. Vetkoek Maleis was one of those companies they needed details of," the Department of Employment and Labour said in a statement.

"Without obvious provocation, the owner became angry when the inspectors requested an email and contact details so that they can make an appointment to inspect his company.

"He shouted and took off his shirt showing inspectors his scars which he claimed were because of 'you people'."

"He slammed the doors, went to the back of the shop and came back with a gun which he proceeded to point at the inspectors," the department said.

As a result of this incident, the inspectors were left traumatised to an extent that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has been roped in to provide them with the necessary support including counselling.

"This is unacceptable. This is a sad' barbaric' disgusting and very unfortunate incident that deserved to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

"It is unfortunate that the employer decided to expose our inspectors to the grave danger by brandishing the gun and this shows that he lacks an understanding of the Labour laws and the rights of his workers.

"Law enforcement and compliance in a workplace are the responsibility of labour inspectors and we will continue to monitor and enforce the legislation without fear or favour," the department said.

According to the department, the said employer has been subpoenaed to appear before the Labour Inspectors on 23 November 2020 at 239 Concilium Building, Pretoria at 14:00.

During this session, he will be questioned and will be expected to produce evidence, and avail his books for inspection and other information.

"Failure to appear will constitute an offence and necessary legal action will be taken," said Gauteng Chief Inspector Michael Msiza.

Section 65 and 66 of Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) empowers inspectors to enter employer premises in order to monitor and enforce compliance with labour laws where the employers carries his business or keeps employment records at any reasonable time without warrant or notice.

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