A dispute implicating a municipal ranger in the fraudulent allocation of a trading site to a hawker is set for hearing at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
Hawkers are enraged that the ranger, who has been helping them secure sites in the central business district (CBD) of Port Elizabeth, was being forced to resign by the Mandela Bay Municipality’s Development Agency (MBDA).
Thamsanqa Mbovane said he was forced to resign by officials who were hostile to him without the knowledge of the development agency’s chief executive officer, Pierre Voges.
“The matter is at the CCMA but I have approached Mr Voges to use his powers and reinstate me to my job as labour law procedures were disregarded by the officials” Mbovane said.
He said the officials, MBDA chief financial officer Ashwin Daya and senior town ranger Lee Oschman, had ordered him to resign on December 21 after producing a receipt for R600 ostensibly issued by him to a Chinese hawker.
“The handwritten receipt was not in my handwriting and there was no signature of mine except an X.
“I was made to confess having signed the receipt, which had neither the MBDA nor my name. I was also accused of fraud,” said Mbovane.
Mbovane has since 2010 been employed on a yearly contract and was to renew this year’s contract in June.
His duties were to patrol the Uitenhage CBD and monitor whether street hawkers were trading with permits.
In his email to Voges, Mbovane asked if it was allowed in law to be made to forcibly write a letter of resignation and be subjected to intimidation.
Hawkers have pledged their support to Mbovane, threatening to make the CBD ungovernable if the ranger was not given his job back.
“Mbovane is being harassed for being sympathetic to our plight as hawkers.
“His only sin was to refuse to evict us as per racist instructions,” said one of the hawkers, who did not want her name to be mentioned, said.
Voges acknowledged that Mbovane had taken the matter to the CCMA.
“We should allow the due processes to take place,” said Voges.