Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Xenophobia? Nigerian Doctor Sacked In South Africa

A Nigerian doctor is jobless and homeless in South Africa.

Dr Sidney Essien worked in South Africa for 15 years before he was dismissed in 2012 without a valid reason, disciplinary hearing or warnings. He is now suing the Gauteng department of health for R600 000.

He claims that, while working in South Africa, he was unfairly discriminated against because of his illness, narcolepsy (a chronic neurological disorder involving the loss of the brain’s ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally).

He also said, that his salary was decreased while he was still working for the department. In addition, the department had blocked his staff number, a number every government employee receives, effectively stemming his ability to get a job at the KwaZulu-Natal department of health.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng department of health has denied claims that xenophobia was behind his dismissal.

Provincial health spokesperson Prince Hamnca said: “He was purely dismissed in line with the Public Service Act.”

However, Hamnca said Eissen’s staff number was blocked because he was absent for more than 30 calendar days, which was regarded as abandonment. Eissen said he was “glued to his bed” during this period and could not move, adding that he did have sick leave.

Essien is now jobless, homeless and on the verge of suicide. His last bit of income was when he worked as a locum in January this year. His only source of income now is a disability grant.

He said, “I cannot go back to Nigeria. I do not have money and I am ashamed. Twenty years after my graduation I have nothing. No friends, no family.”

So sorry for him. Poor man!

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