A heavily drunk ‘bass’ tried to kill his ‘boy’ with a knife at work after driving at high speed within the company premises that stock inflammable liquids, a disciplinary hearing at a fuel and logistics company, Grindrod Petrologics, heard last week.
The revelations of threats to kill, coming to work drunk, and driving at above-the-limit speed within the premises forced the convener of the disciplinary proceedings, Bikini Leburu, who is also the human resources officer at the same company, to suspend the case and consult with superiors based in South Africa on the way forward.Fuel and logistics company Grindrod Petrologistics is hearing 35 cases from the truck drivers they suspended in August for stealing fuel.
But it is the evidence of one of the dismissed workers, Jobe Matshediso, which put his accuser and boss, Gerhard Pelser, a contract manager, on the spotlight. The evidence is now threatening to destroy the career of the same boss who apparently reported the employees for stealing.Matshediso narrated how on that fateful day, his boss, heavily drunk, assaulted him with a knife, trying to kill him. Matshediso claimed he was saved by a 20 litre water container that he was carrying in his car, which he said, he repeatedly used as a shield to block the knife swings which left the container heavily peppered from the stabs.Matshediso told the hearing how he was requested to sweep the matter under the carpet and that it would be attended to.
In a separate interview Matshediso expressed disappointment with his company’s policy of special treatment to whites who can afford to come to work drunk, carrying weapons, threatening to kill people, and still walk free, while ordinary Batswana like him are found guilty of non existent crimes. “On that day, the boss came driving at high speed, did not stop at the gate to be searched or to be tested for alcohol, he just drove through, and met me as I was preparing to leave the premises. That’s when he started accusing me of stealing petrol, and demanded to search my car.
When he saw my 20 litre water container in the car he concluded I had stolen fuel and tried to kill me. I had to use the same container to shield myself from the assault,” he narrated.A representative of the truck drivers union (BOTRAWU), Kgomotso Panye, on Friday told The Monitor that he hoped the evidence against Pelser will be used to take action against him. “Under normal circumstances, coming to work drunk is a dismissable offence; violent behaviour at work such as trying to kill someone with a dangerous weapon is a dismissable offence as well and even driving at high speed through the premises that warehouses explosives like fuel is a dismissable offence. We hope justice prevails,” said Panye. Pelser resorted to being abusive when contacted.
The hearing is expected to resume this week.