Unprofessional conduct costs Corobrik plenty.
In August last year Noseweek carried a report that Corobrik had been severely reprimanded at a CCMA hearing in Durban for the manner in which it attempted to fire its South Coast Centre manager, Johann Pretorius (nose178). He had allegedly failed to detect credit-note fraud by a junior employee. The CCMA arbitrator ordered Pretorius’s reinstatement, but both parties subsequently agreed to a confidential financial settlement.
Noseweek has only recently learnt that Corobrik – apparently acting on the advice of its legal advisors, attorneys ENS – thought to use the fraud incident as an opportunity to fire four more employees for their alleged neglect in failing to detect the same fraud (committed by one Mohan Amichand) as a cheap way to reduce staff in recessionary times. If that was the plan, it appears to have been an expensive miscalculation.
The company hurriedly convened the necessary disciplinary hearings, to be chaired by ambitious Allin Dangers, who had his eye on a promotion to the newly vacant national sales director position. Dangers proceeded to bully his way through all five hearings in rapid succession, found all four accused guilty as charged and fired one after the other. But they all then promptly took their cases to the CCMA.
Despite apparently having been warned by management not to record the disciplinary proceedings, company prosecutor Ron Bassett had foolishly done so. When the recordings were played at the CCMA, the unprofessional conduct of Dangers was immediately apparent, causing the CCMA commissioner to whistle in disbelief.
Corobrik was forced to negotiate a quick but expensive retrenchment settlement. Besides Pretorius, there was a former national manager, two credit controllers and an area sales manager. The total additional cost is said to have been R1.4million.
Noseweek can only shudder at the thought of what ENS’s fee was.
(None of those vacated posts has since been filled).
Instead of his desired promotion, Dangers has effectively been demoted to the backwaters of Durban as the KZN regional sales director.
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