'HIV test cost me my job'

DISMISSED: Nancy Mathaba. Pic. UNKNOWN
DISMISSED: Nancy Mathaba. Pic. UNKNOWN

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

A Pretoria woman has claimed that her boss allegedly forced her to take an HIV-test, then fired her.

Nancy Mathaba, 42, of Mamelodi East, said Louis Boschoff of Jakaranda Motors treated her like an animal in spite of working for him for 20 years.

But Boschoff said he only learnt about Mathaba's status from Sowetan because he thought she had TB.

Mathaba said her nightmare started in 2005 when she became ill.

"One day I came to work and a car was waiting to take me to a clinic."

She said when the results came back positive, she told her boss.

"He said that I had a dangerous disease and could not work for him anymore. I told him that being HIV-positive did not mean I was incapacitated. He said I could continue working, but he would not tolerate my abuse of sick leave," said Mathaba.

She said every time she told her boss that she needed a day off to collect her medication, he would hit the roof and tell her not to come back.

Mathaba said she was fired last November after a disciplinary hearing.

Boschoff denied all the allegations and said he had been very helpful to Mathaba.

"She was absent for 82 days in one year and only brought one medical certificate, but I paid her. She was too sick to work and we agreed that I put her on medical retrenchment. I arranged for her to claim medical disability. She claimed and returned after three months," he said. I told her that I cannot take her back because she was paid off for medical retrenchment. She screamed and said I was a racist. I do not know why she is doing this after everything I did for her."