A video has emerged of a cleaner at the Job Shimankana Tabane hospital in Rustenburg walking around without her pants on, allegedly because she was never given the correct uniform.
Kefilwe Kedige alleges she was told to remove the clothing item by a male staffer on Monday.
Speaking to News24, Kedige said she started working at the hospital in December 2013 but was never issued with the correct uniform.
"They asked for our dress sizes twice since I’ve been working here, but to this day I have never received any uniform," she said.
Kedige said she has been wearing her private clothes to work and even resorted to wearing her husband’s pants from a mining overall set that he had.
Staff say letters to administration remain unanswered
The 46-year-old said housekeeping staff had written three letters to their superiors over the past two years, highlighting demands which included issues around uniforms, bonuses and supervisors.
Kedige said although they had sent a representative to the provincial office in Mahikeng to express their grievances, nothing came of it.
"Two weeks ago I submitted a fourth letter to the administration department and was told to come for a meeting on April 23. The day came and I was told I did not follow protocol."
"I was told to meet with our relations officer who said to me as I entered his office: ‘Why that trouser in my office?’ [sic]."
That is when Kedige said the staff member told her to remove the pants as they were not part of the uniform.
"I thought he would say 'I was joking'," the mother of two said.
Claims of cleaner being forced to undress refuted
North West provincial health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane this week described the matter as "not desirable".
Lekgethwane refuted claims that Kedige was ordered to remove her pants.
"She undressed willingly as a protest, but we are waiting for a formal report from the hospital," he said.
"If the uniform she had was torn, or whatever, it is easy to reapply or request another uniform and it will be given. That's what I checked," he added.
An official from the provincial office has been assigned to consult with Kedige to resolve the issue, said Lekgethwane.
"We think there are deeper things that need to be established and we have therefore since called on someone … to go and meet her and establish exactly what is going on."According to an email that News24 has seen, a meeting will be held on May 2 at 08:00, but Kedige does not appear as one of the recipients of the email invitation.
"They treat us like nothing because we are cleaners," commented Kedige.