Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema appears to have taken his party’s “hire-and-fire syndrome” to his office, dismissing his personal assistant over her association with expelled MP Andile Mngxitama. However, the party says the employee broke their code of conduct and they are entitled to take requisite action.
Yerushka Chetty became the latest casualty on Friday when Malema allegedly fired her from his Cape Town office. She is likely to add to the EFF’s labour woes by seeking redress at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Chetty was suspended for violating the organisation’s code of conduct, which restricts members from associating with rival political parties.
“I confirm that (Yerushka) Chetty has been placed under suspension and her matter is in front of the disciplinary committee,” said Ndlozi.
“The EFF, just like any other organisation, has a code of conduct and if members and staff break it, there will be action taken. For this we shall never apologise. This is all I can say taking into consideration that her matter is in front of the DC.”
However, a source, who asked not to be named, told The Citizen that Chetty’s sin was to send a picture of Mgxitama’s organisation, Black First Land First (BLF) to a fellow staff member, which erroneously landed in Malema’s e-mail inbox.
“That was an e-mail error and she was fired immediately without a disciplinary hearing,” said a source.
Chetty confirmed the dismissal to The Citizen, but would not reveal the reasons. She said she would be challenging her dismissal at the CCMA this week.
“Yes, I’ve been dismissed but I don’t want to talk about it now,” said the 33-year-old woman, who is a teacher by profession.
“I am still busy with the legal process. We will talk when I am finished.”
Mngxitama said he was aware of the claims that Chetty was fired over the picture of his organisation, but he did not want to comment on the matter. “Let me call and speak to her (Chetty) and I will come back to you,” he said.
Chetty’s ties with Mngxitama date back to 2013 when she became a member of his other movement, the September National Imbizo, which became part of the EFF when the latter was formed. She joined the EFF in July of that year.
Chetty’s dismissal happened less than a week after it emerged that two of the 15 axed EFF members had won an arbitration award of a total of R110 000 from the CCMA as compensation for their dismissals.
The Citizen reported on Friday that the Cape Town west sheriff had served the EFF with a notice to attach R25 150 worth of its movable goods as compensation for Lephallo Mohoto’s unfair dismissal. He was fired by the EFF early this year while working as the party office coordinator for the Cape Town metro area.