Photo: Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp

CCMA deny claims a top official sent an email calling black people “monkeys”

The CCMA have had to try their hand at fighting a fire on their own territory this Monday. The group deny their senior commissioner is behind a racist email.


Photo: Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) have begun a full-scale investigation regarding an e-mail that’s alleged to have been sent by a senior company official, referring to black people as “monkeys”.

Now, it’s important to stress that the CCMA has carried out a preliminary investigation already, concluding that the communication did not come from any of their employees. However, the group’s social media account issued a statement, confirming they are still looking to finalise their findings.

CCMA deny racist email is theirs

The supposed email from the CCMA’s senior commissioner e-mail was picked up by several Twitter users, and even got retweeted by Julius Malema earlier on Monday. However, with the uploader having just two tweets to their name, the validity of the message immediately came into question.

The message was said to have been accidentally sent to the complainant, rather than another official in the executive of the organisation. Here is what was screenshotted and shared by the so-called “recipient”.

“I’m still at CCMA but I have to sit here and listen to these corrupt monkeys lie their way out of trouble. I don’t understand these people who don’t appreciate they have jobs now they want to act like victims wasting time.”

The supposed email in question.

Alleged “monkeys” comment ignites social media

We had trouble contacting the CCMA directly, but we did encounter a comprehensive pre-recorded message on one of their lines, which dismissed the e-mail as a fake that “had nothing to do with the company”.

In their recently-released statement, the organisation – who were created 22 years ago to help represent victims of unfair dismissal – said that they oppose racism “in all its forms” before they distanced themselves from the vulgar sentiments:

“The CCMA has noted with great concern the tweet and the alleged email. Given the materiality of the matter, the CCMA has initiated an investigation into the allegations.”

“The preliminary report indicates that the email is fake because the recipient is unknown to the CCMA and the Commissioner did not preside over a ‘Game’ matter on that day.”

“A further investigation is ongoing. The concerned Commissioner has offered all his technology for further investigation. Should the outcome be contrary to the preliminary report, the necessary action will be taken.”

CCMA react to allegations of racism

The e-mail has the subject title of “Game”, referring to the video game company popular in South Africa. The CCMA deny that the apparent sender had anything to do with any issues related to that business on the date the email was allegedly sent. A further update will be provided once the full investigation has concluded.