Imagine this situation: you are running a medium-sized business and one of your employees comes to you with an unusual request. She says she has been seeing visions and that she spoke to a priest who advised her to go on a Christian Outreach Revival camp which would last for a month. She has no annual leave left, so she wishes to take unpaid leave. You are in the middle of your busiest season and you can’t spare her for more than a week, which is duly offered. Your employee goes to the camp without permission, and during her absence a disciplinary hearing is held as a result of which the employee is dismissed for being absent from work without leave.
This seems to me to be fair. Why should special allowance be made for an employee in order for her to indulge her superstitions? I’m betting that if this actually happened, the labour court would, rightly, uphold the employee’s dismissal.
However, this did not happen, but something similar did. Johanna Mmoledi was employed as chef de partie by the Kievits Kroon Country Estate. She claimed to have visions and was advised to go on a traditional healer’s course for a month. She duly applied for a month’s unpaid leave, was told she could have a week, took the month and was dismissed. When she returned she gave her employers a letter from a member of the North West Dingaka (traditional healers’) Association which read:
This serves to certify that Mmoledi was seen by me and was diagnosed to have a perminisions of ancestors.
Mmoledi’s union declared a dispute and the case went to mediation. Mmoledi claimed that she was justified in being off work on the grounds that she was sick, or feared that she would become so if she failed to attend the course. Her employers insisted that there were no grounds for believing that Mmoledi was sick, and just what the hell did “perminisions” mean, anyway? The commissioner, bizarrely, found in favour of Mmoledi, saying that the employer lacked empathy and understanding of cultural diversity and that Mmoledi was justified in absenting herself from work “rather than risking the wrath of the ancestors.” Well, this is no great surprise—everyone knows the bizarre and fantastical shapes into which the CCMA will fold itself in order to find for an employee (sorry, wekka.)
The case was taken on review to the labour court where, unbelievably, Judge Ellem Francis upheld the ruling of the commissioner. Finding that Mmoledi was justified in absenting herself, he said, “This case sadly shows what happens when cultures clash in the workplace.” Perhaps the judge considered the culture of actually pitching up for work when you are expected to to be unimportant in the context of this case, or perhaps he thought a belief in the “wrath of ancestors” trumped all other considerations. Or perhaps he didn’t think at all. This was not so much a “clash of cultures”, it was a clash of stupidity and common sense, a clash which stupidity won.
We hear various government ministers and trades union officials whining that despite growth in the economy, employment continues to stagnate. This case is an excellent illustration of why this state of affairs exists. What employer in his right mind would hire someone of Johanna Mmoledi’s ilk when he can possibly avoid doing so? Businesses continue to replace labour with capital wherever it is possible to do so, resulting in high unemployment, poverty, crime, and all the misery that those things bring in their wake.
As usual, our politicians are too stupid to realise that this is a problem of their own making.
Grumpy Old Man by Mark Widdicombe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License
Thanks for the heads-up. Should a “wekka” start making noises about funny visions/callings, I’ll immediately draft an appropriate advisory/warning letter. Who needs delusional “wekkas” in the first place? Unfortunately, we now have a legal precedent which carries some weight.
“Cultural diversity”, my skinny white pragmatic arse.
Oh, and in any bout pitching rationality against stupidity? Always put money on the latter. It always wins – by sheer force of weight and inertia. Adding politics to the mix just plays right into the hands of the contending politicians.
Fuck it, I am so deeply tired of this bullshit game that requires fact to bow to political correctness/expediency. What a sad, destructive sham.
I do not know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering issues with your blog. It looks like some of the text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had
this happen previously. Thank you
I don’t see a problem. What browser and OS are you using?
Beyond just the amazing orlando sdarch engine optimization city and water views and thhe tasty
drinks, they have almost exclusively been men. In the kitchen Julian Serrano’s
Cal-Ital-Mediterranean cooking has earned him two Michelin stars by the time I left.
That’s not news They may very well be exercising less and eating more.
When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails
with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
Go here to manage your subscriptions:
My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how
much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!
Pretty portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that
I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you get admission to persistently rapidly.
Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst
you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog site?
The account aided me a appropriate deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of
this your broadcast offered brilliant transparent idea
I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your site. Do you ever
run into any web browser compatibility issues? A handful of my blog readers have
complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks
great in Firefox. Do you have any recommendations
to help fix this problem?
I’m not sure why but this site is loading extremely slow for me.
Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.
I think this is one of the most significant information for me.
And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The
site style is great, the articles is really great : D.
Good job, cheers
Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive
a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is
now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave
it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put
the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!
Wow, that’s what I was seeking for, what a material!
existing here at this webpage, thanks admin of this web page.
Awesome! Its in fact remarkable paragraph, I have got
much clear idea concerning from this post.
WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for wireless routers
Good article. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..
Hi there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using?
I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot
quicker then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting
provider at a reasonable price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!
After I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are
added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment
is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?
whoah this weblog is fantastic i really like studying
your posts. Stay up the good work! You realize, a lot of individuals
are looking around for this information, you can aid them greatly.
Superb blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform
like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused ..
Any suggestions? Many thanks!
This is my first time visit at here and i am actually impressed to read everthing
at alone place.
Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after
browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!
Very soon this web page will be famous among all blog people,
due to it’s pleasant articles
Hello, its nice paragraph regarding media print,
we all be aware of media is a fantastic source
Fine way of describing, and nice paragraph to take information concerning my presentation topic, which i
am going to present in academy.
Good day I am so thrilled I found your webpage, I really found you by mistake,
while I was researching on Aol for something else, Anyhow I am here now
and would just like to say cheers for a marvelous post and
a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but
I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic b.
Yes! Finally someone writes about wireless routers.