The Mpumalanga health department fired nine women who were working as cleaners at a clinic for allegedly forging their physical addresses when applying for their jobs, it emerged on Friday.
Documents seen by the African News Agency (ANA) show that the department fired the workers after an internal disciplinary hearing held in June.
Their dismissal came more than a year after they were appointed as cleaners at Tweefontein G Clinic in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality.
According to a document dated June 20, 2016, which contained the minutes of the hearing that was chaired by JJ Matshika, the workers were found guilty of dishonesty.
“I have found the employees guilty of dishonesty in that they misrepresented themselves on the Z83 application form by presenting physical addresses that they were not residing at,” said Matshika in the document.
The workers were represented by, among others, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) at the hearing.
According to the documents, the workers appealed their dismissals internally and argued that the Z83 application form only required a postal address from applicants. Their appeals were dismissed.
Seven of the dismissed workers told ANA they were served with letters of dismissal on August 2, and insisted they were residents of Tweefontein G and other villages in the municipality. They said the job advert they responded to “did not state who may apply.”
“I stay at the home of my cousin here in Tweefontein G Village, and I used her address to apply for that job,” said Rose Mabena.
“My mother fell sick, and I went back home in Vezubuhle Village [in the same Thembisile Hani Local municipality], where there is no formal physical address.”
Another dismissed worker, Nonhlanhla Mabena, said: “I was earning R6 000 and supporting my family, but now we no longer have an income”
The women were so devastated by the dismissals they did not enjoy Women’s Month and did not vote in the August 3 municipal elections, they said.
Provincial health department spokesperson Dumisani Malamule said it was stated in the advert that only residents of Tweefontein G Village and all other villages of the Thembisile Hani Local municipality may apply.
“We got complaints that people who were appointed were not residents of the Thembisile Hani Local municipality, and our investigation proved that,” he said.
Nkangala district chairperson of the Congress of the People Mathews Masilela described the dismissals as unfair.
“You cannot fire workers over physical addresses,” he said.
Nehawu and the PSA could not be reached for comment.
– African News Agency (ANA)