(Source: IR Network LexisNexis)

South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union obo Maribe / Flamingo Casino – (2019) 28 CCMA 8.37.5 (CCMA) also reported at [2019] 4 BALR 433 (CCMA).

Subject Matter Classification:

Substantive fairness in dismissal – Misconduct – Racist language – Employee warning colleagues that they faced dismissal because they were black after colleague dismissed by white presiding officer – Dismissal fair. 

Mini Case Summary:

The applicant employee was dismissed for declaring while defending a colleague in a disciplinary hearing that “this is a racist issue” and telling employees afterwards that they faced dismissal because they were black. The employee denied making a statement about a racist issue during the disciplinary hearing but admitted that he had told employees afterwards that they faced disciplinary action because they were black.

The Commissioner accepted that the employee had uttered the words “this is a racist issue” and had also told employees that they faced dismissal because they were black. There was clearly a link between the two comments. The employee had not been charged with racism, but with uttering comments which clearly had racist connotations because they were uttered immediately after an employee had been dismissed by a white presiding officer. Moreover, the applicant had previously been warned for making racially charged comments. Dismissal was, accordingly, appropriate in the circumstances.

The dismissal was upheld.