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By Anna Majavu | Sep 15, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

DOZENS of Cape Town parking attendants yesterday shut down the city administration in protest against being fired for standing up for a colleague who was allegedly stripped to her underwear by her male boss.

Groups of security guards locked the doors to municipal headquarters while attendants protested inside the building.

Nokulunga Zonke, 20, who was locked outside, said she was fired in July by Street Parking Solutions , which recently won a contract from the city and employs about 250 parking attendants.

She alleged that the company's director, Zunaid Loghdey, told her she was fired for "failing to meet her target" and that she should give back her uniform immediately.

"He grabbed me and took off my uniform. I told him I only had a bra on underneath but he kept shouting at me. I was very scared," Zonke said.

She said she had to phone her sister to bring her clothes.

A colleague who saw her being stripped radioed other attendants who rushed to picket outside the office. More than 160 attendants were fired for holding an illegal strike.

Samwu Cape Town branch secretary Mikhel Khumalo said the union was taking the case to the labour court.

He said before the company took over operations attendants were allocated five parking bays each, from which they had to make R500 a month.

They were paid a monthly salary of R450 and could keep as commission any money above the R500 they had to make.

"But under Street Parking Solutions the basic pay has been scrapped, attendants are given only four parking bays from which to generate R500 and they are charged with misconduct and dismissed if they fail to bring in the money," Khumalo said.

But Loghdey denied stripping Zonke. He claimed that "two senior ladies" accompanied Zonke to a closed area where she took off her uniform. He conceded that hundreds of attendants went on strike on the same day but said they never told him why.

He accused the axed workers of "stabbing and robbing" the new parking attendants, and said he had been granted an interim interdict prohibiting the fired workers from interfering with new attendants or approaching his office.

"We gave these people jobs. We didn't even have to take them and this is how they carry on," he said,

"She (Zonke) was a poor performer three weeks in a row. She went and sparked an uprising."

Loghdey admitted insulting the attendants but said his words had to be "taken in context".

City of Cape Town human resources director Sihle Msengana said "the attendants are not city employees and shouldn't be protesting here.

"All I am concerned about is what they are doing, which is illegal."


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