Cosatu will be defending the MyCiTi bus driver who was dismissed for praying before taking to the road, provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich has confirmed.
This after Jerome Rose was fired on Friday for leading passengers in prayer.
“The City of Cape Town must stop its liberal nonsense that undermines religion. We are a God-fearing nation and have a right to practice our religious convictions,” Ehrenreich said in a statement.
Following Rose’s initial suspension, Cosatu said this was “clearly a precursor to dismissal for an offence that clearly is not life threatening”.
“Suspensions can only be applied in certain circumstances where a serious prejudice exists for a company. The complaint from one rich customer from Milnerton should be ignored as this city and its facilities should not be used to pander to these spoilt brats.”
Rose, who has been driving the Cape Town/Atlantis route for the past year, told News24 he was given a verbal warning last Friday to stop leading passengers in prayer after a passenger submitted a written complaint.
But on Monday he prayed again, arguing he is “a Christian first, then a bus driver”.
‘CITY PRACTICES PRAYING DURING MEETINGS’
A colleague apparently caught the prayer session on video, and on Tuesday he was given a final written warning. But on Wednesday, Rose again started the day with a prayer.
He was suspended and attended a disciplinary hearing on Thursday.
Rose was informed of his dismissal on Friday, but plans to appeal the ruling.
Ehrenreich said the action is “contrary to the city’s own practices of praying in council meetings irrespective of the views of others”.
“The city should apply its standards consistently or not at all, because then the mayor should also be suspended for allowing prayers in council meetings,” he said.
But Mayor Patricia de Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson said as far as she was aware, there were no prayers during council meetings.
Furthermore, she argued that the proceedings in council – which is a government structure led by the Speaker – could not be compared to a company’s rules and regulations. News24