Johannesburg – The private cleaning company at the center of the alleged racial storm at the Curro Castle Oakdene school says it acted immediately after the matter was brought to its attention.
Two cleaners employed by Afriboom claimed a teacher at the school called them and another colleague "three little monkeys" while they were having lunch in the staffroom.
Police have confirmed a criminal injuria case has been opened.
The teacher was found not guilty by two inquiries.
In a joint statement with the school, Afriboom said she engaged with Curro and undertook to hold a counseling meeting with staff over the incident.
"Afriboom believed it had become a personal matter between the parties and that it should be dealt with outside normal operating hours," the statement stated.
The statement further stated that Curro informed Afriboom that the cleaners were intimidating the teacher and threatening her with criminal action and arrest.
“Curro believed their behavior was affecting day-to-day operations of the school and requested Afriboom to transfer employees to another cleaning site.
“Curro was informed that it was not possible for Afriboom to simply transfer employees to another site if it was against their will. Their employment agreements were site specific and they were not in breach of any disciplinary code of conduct, nor their employment contract, ”the statement said.
Afriboom has canceled its contract with Curro over the dispute. Spokesperson Mari Lategan said: “Curro welcomes all comments that are constructive and contribute to discussions in a meaningful way. But we do not condone any form of discrimination and misrepresentation. ”
Afriboom chief executive Pieter van der Westhuizen said: “The company maintains its position on a zero-tolerance policy regarding any and all forms of discrimination, remaining committed to being an employer of choice in the cleaning industry and open to constructive input and engagement. ”