Stuurman Mogotsi – an assistant butchery manager at processed meat manufacturer Eskort, who went to work after testing positive for Covid-19 and even hugged a colleague who suffered from comorbidities – was dismissed fairly. The Star reports this is according to the Labour Court following a dismissal dispute. The case concerned the fairness of the dismissal of an employee on account of gross misconduct and related negligence, related to his failure to observe Covid-19-related health and safety protocols put in place at the workplace.
Judge Edwin Tlhotlhalemaje remarked: ‘The facts of this case are indeed extraordinary. They are indicative of the need for more to be done at both the workplace and in communities, in ensuring that employers, employees, and the general populace are sensitized to the realities of this pandemic, and to further reinforce the obligations of employers and employees in the face of an exposure to Covid-19.’ Mogotsi was found guilty of gross misconduct by his employer as he did not tell them he took a Covid-19 test and was waiting for his results. He was also convicted and fired because after testing positive, he continued working and placed the lives of his colleagues at risk.