Airtime-for-overtime scam costs supervisors their jobs

Two lead works supervisors who demanded airtime in return for allocating overtime to workers were fired.
Two lead works supervisors who demanded airtime in return for allocating overtime to workers were fired.
Image: 123rf/scyther5

Two supervisors who demanded airtime and cooldrinks from employees in return for assigning them overtime have failed to get their jobs back.

Abbey Nchoe and Emmanuel Nchoe were fired by Castle Lead Works, of Krugersdorp, after being found guilty at a Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council disciplinary hearing.

They appealed to the Johannesburg labour court but acting judge Sandile Mabaso said arbitrator Dave Smith had been correct to believe the witnesses who gave evidence against them, rather than their denials.

The workers targeted by the two supervisors were supplied to Castle Lead Works by labour brokers.

One of them, Reginald Madito, told the disciplinary hearing that when he was inducted by Abbey Nchoe, the supervisor handed over his contact details and demanded an airtime voucher.

When he did not comply, Nchoe told him he had “disadvantaged” himself when it came to being asked to work overtime.

David Khumalo told Smith he bought Abbey Nchoe a R24 airtime voucher and cooldrink, “after which he experienced no further problems”. He also bought cooldrink for Emmanuel Nchoe.

Another witness told the disciplinary hearing that when Castle Lead Works closed for the December holidays, Abbey Nchoe demanded cooldrinks if he wanted to return to work in January.

In his judgment on December 18, Mabaso said the “totality of the evidence ... points in one direction: that indeed the [Nchoes] did demand favours from their subordinates”.

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