Friday, July 23, 2010

MaNtuli owes domestic worker thousands

By Mercury Reporter and Sapa

South Africa's first lady Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma has been found guilty of unlawfully dismissing her domestic worker and must cough up R16 000, Ilanga reported yesterday.

The presidency, meanwhile, went to ground again yesterday when asked for comment.

Ilanga reported that MaNtuli did not pay Sbongile Doris Ngobese the full salary they had agreed on.

Nor had she followed the correct procedure in dismissing her.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration gave MaNtuli 14 days to backpay Ngobese R16 000 for eight months of her outstanding R2 000 a month salary.

Ilanga reported that the commission had asked that MaNtuli attend the hearing and give her side of the story, which she did not do when the case was heard on June 4.

MaNtuli allegedly asked Ngobese to quit her job at St Augustine's Hospital to work for her, She started in August last year.

MaNtuli reportedly paid Ngobese R1 000 on February 27, and promised the rest when she had money.

On March 8, Ngobese asked for the rest of her salary as she needed to see a doctor, but MaNtuli allegedly did not do so.

Ngobese saw a doctor, who gave her a sick note to stay at home until March 12.

On March 10, MaNtuli's bodyguard went to Ngobese's home and paid her the remaining R1 000. She gave the bodyguard the sick note.

The following day the bodyguard returned with the sick note and told Ngobese not to return to work, which she nevertheless did, but found the gates locked.

On April 29 she returned to the house with a letter, asking whether she was still employed by MaNtuli. A policewoman went into the house and returned with Ngobese's clothing, but did not reply to her letter.

In May, The Mercury reported that MaNtuli owed the eThekwini municipality R9 564,87 in water and electricity for the Morningside house she was then living in.

The president's head of private office, Lakela Kaunda last night said: "Lady, I do not comment to the media. There are media liaison officers who deal with media inquiries. Phone Zanele. If you can't get hold of her, she is probably in a meeting. Send her an SMS or e-mail."

However, Zanele Mngadi, an official in the president's spousal office, did not respond to calls or SMSes to her three cellphones.

Neither Zizi Kodwa, the president's special adviser on communications, nor MaNtuli could be reached for comment.

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