Staff at Lindsay Saker Kempton Park are allegedly concerned about their safety due to alleged threats of people wanting to shut down the branch.
This follows an incident involving an alleged fabricated WhatsApp message that was sent to some of the staff members by an unknown number on May 26, reports Kempton Express.
In the message, it appears the branch’s service manager, Shalen Singh, is complaining about his black staff and refers to them as “k*****s” and “black monkeys”.
Singh was put on a leave of absence a day after the message was sent to staff members.
“Our staff received a screen grab of that alleged conversation from an anonymous number on Sunday and it was brought to our attention,” said Denton Thiele, managing director of the Lindsay Saker Group.
“We called Singh in the following day to investigate the matter as we take such matters seriously. We put him on absence of leave to allow for further investigations.
“The staff’s morale was also affected by all of this and it wasn’t easy with all the investigators coming in and out of the workplace.”
Thiele also told Kempton Express that investigations included a forensic team of investigators and a polygraph test.
“We called Singh in for interviews and a polygraph test and it proved that he was framed. The SIM card appears to not be registered and investigators have tried to ping the number since Monday, but haven’t been successful. This raised suspicion that the SIM card might have been destroyed,” said Thiele.
Although Singh’s innocence was apparently proven through interviews and a polygraph test on Thursday, he is still on leave of absence for his safety as he has received threats.
Based on the investigation results, Thiele said cases of defamation of character and cyberbullying were opened at the Kempton Park SAPS.
Capt Jethro Mtshali, spokesperson at the Kempton Park SAPS, said records only showed that a case of crimen injuria was opened by Singh.
“Our records show that Singh opened a case of crimen injuria. No suspect has been arrested as investigations still continue to establish and trace the origin of the message,” said Mtshali.
“We don’t have records of defamation of character and cyberbullying cases as those are civil matters.”
Following the incident, the EFF opened a crimen injuria case against Singh last Wednesday.
According to Nkululeko Dunga, EFF’s Ekurhuleni regional chairperson, only the police can prove that Singh was indeed framed.