Former employee beefs with Koala Park Butchery over racism, demands US$107,500

HARARE – Koala Park Butchery & Abattoir has been caught up in a racism storm with a fired employee accusing one of the famed company’s managers of slurring him with offensive racial epithets.

Brian Lawrence, who was employed by the slaughter as a mechanic, is demanding US$107,500 he claims is owed to him after his “unlawful dismissal” in March last year.

His lawyers from Machaya and Associates law firm, have written to the company demanding their client’s dues and alleging that he was terminated without cause and due process.

Lawrence accuses one of his former superiors, Stephen Erasmus, of subjecting him to racial slurs, often calling him “f****ng mukaranga kaffir.”

“It must further be stated on record that our client advised us that during the 14 years he worked for the company he was subjected to tribal, racially-charged abuse by his workshop manager Stephen Erasmus who would say you ‘f****ng mukaranga kaffir’, a conduct our client regards as hurtful harassment at work against the Constitution, laws of the country and good labour practice,” his lawyers wrote to the company demanding damages.

They said their client was never afforded an option to express his grievances and was so fearful of the abusive employer he never complained.

“In this regard he has instructed us that we request you to follow the law by paying him back pay from March 2020 to date, the amount being US$30,000.”

Additionally, the complainant wants two weeks’ salary for every year worked totaling US$17,500 and 24 months’ salary to enable him to survive while searching for another job plus a US$2,500 in terms of his signed contract.

Koala Park Butchery officials were not available for comment.

The company operates three abattoirs in Harare, Kadoma, and Chiredzi that were “developed with both the cattle producers and the customers in mind,” a statement on its website claims.