Refuse collector on the job despite assault rap

THE municipal refuse collector who allegedly beat up a Port Elizabeth pensioner is still on the job - more than two weeks after the attack.

The 68-year-old man was attacked outside his Fernglen home by a Nelson Mandela Bay municipality worker on August 9.

But Josef von Hoffmann, who was repeatedly punched and kicked, is now living in fear that the worker will retaliate.

"I have heard the man is threatening revenge because I reported him. I am living in fear for my life right now," he said.

The attack occurred after Von Hoffmann reportedly asked the collector why he had failed to collect all his refuse bags.

The aggressive worker, Hoffmann said, responded by assaulting him.

Eventually the driver of the municipal truck intervened and stopped the assault.

Von Hoffmann laid a complaint of assault with the Mount Road police station.

Police have confirmed a case was being investigated.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said yesterday: "The municipality will make a decision before the end of the week when it will be decided what measures will be taken."

He confirmed the municipal refuse collector was still working.

Baron said the allegations were serious and would be treated as such.

"The workers are the face of the municipality and when something like this happens it is stressful on our image," he said, adding there was no excuse for such behaviour.

Von Hoffmann, who sustained minor injuries, said he had been fighting with the municipality's waste department for the past two years over its failure to collect all garbage bags put out on collection day.

He said he first reported his gripe to the department in 2010.

Von Hoffmann said the employee should have been suspended immediately.

"It is disgusting that he is still working. It is not right" Von Hoffmann said.

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