A 29-year-old shop owner in Mpumalanga has admitted to dismissing his domestic worker for allegedly stealing a tea bag.
The businessman, Dawood Gulzar, denied allegations that he had fired the woman for personal reasons.
“This lady is a thief. She never stole money, but she’s stealing our small things like a tea bag and some sugar,” he said this week.
When asked if he had proof that the woman, Lenah Phiri, 32, had stolen something from his house, he nearly lost his temper.
“My friend, I don’t need to prove to you; I know my groceries. I count my things when leaving the house and I know them very well. She should have asked because I know it’s very cold nowadays, rather than stealing,” he said.
‘I’ve been nothing but loyal’
The dismissed domestic worker said she had been working for Gulzar for the past seven years.
“I still can’t believe it. I thought my boss was cracking a joke when he said I stole a tea bag. I have been nothing but loyal to my work for the past seven years, never think of stealing anything. I was told that I stole a tea bag. A tea bag out of all things,” she said.
Phiri said she has always been an honest employee.
“How can I steal a tea bag instead of money? I always found R200 and R100 banknotes when I’m doing laundry, but I gave them all back. It’s obvious that I was no longer useful to them after all these years,” Phiri said.
The matter has been handed over to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.