Former EFF employee claims the party owes him half a million rand

Frans James was allegedly dismissed after complaining about salary and benefit cuts.

Former Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) employee Frans James has taken the political party to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) claiming his salary had been unfairly docked and that he was dismissed for speaking out against it.

The Citizen has reported that James, who was an administrator for the party in the Free State provincial legislature, alleges that the party unilaterally withdrew employee benefits and, in 2016, cut his salary from R34 500 to R20 000 per month.

While the EFF has a history of diverting funds away from staff salaries to other arty activities, James has been outspoken about the unfairness of the practice and now reportedly believes the party owes him R500 000, which is inclusive of forgone benefits.   

Among other members of the party’s leadership, James is reported to have clashed with HR manager Nomhle Ngcobo.

The CCMA will hear the matter on 17 January.

“My salary was deducted despite the fact that the person who held the post before was getting her full pay despite not having a matric certificate … I hold a B Tech in Public Management with experience as an administrator in a political office,” he is quoted as saying.

“They have gone to great lengths to victimise and frustrate me out of work after I relentlessly kept asking questions about an illegal practice of taking our salaries by the organisation.”

This is the second case in recent months that sees a political party taken to the court of arbitration in recent months where former employees of the Congress of the People challenged their dismissals, which they believed to be unfair because thee party apparently offered “vague” and inconsequential reasons as to why the party would not be able to pay them and only gave them a few days’ notice.