The sister of the Cell C employee who is reported to have taken his own life recently, amid retrenchments at the mobile operator, said her brother spent the last few months under massive pressure at work trying to deliver what the company wanted.
In a message posted on IT News Africa, Adele said her brother Andre was owed a substantial amount of leave, but continued to work until the very end.
She said that phone records will testify that on the last day of his life 59 calls were received or made and only one was with family or friends.
“Only one of these calls was a conversation with family or friends – it was with his wife and lasted fifty seconds. The remainder of the calls were exclusively to Cell C staff and suppliers. The last human beings that my brother spoke to were his manager and the payroll officer,” she added.
Adele said the family is devastated and whilst her brother was not a workaholic, he set high standards and took personal pride in delivering the best he could.
“After many years with Cell C, and hours and hours of overtime, pressure, and an attempt to give the best he humanly could in a time of corporate chaos, he was left with some sour words and a waiting envelope. Everyone in business understands that restructuring and retrenchments are a fact of life, as is work pressure. But a company the magnitude of Cell C has a responsibility to their employees to offer assistance in times of pressure, and counselling in times of retrenchment,” she continued in her message.
In conclusion Adele also said that Cell C had “followed a process” and cut-off the cell phone of her brother.
“Cell C did cut off his cell phone unceremoniously on Thursday. They have not yet received his death certificate in order for them to do this, but the employees that were retrenched (alive or dead it seems), all got their phones cut off this week. So, it seems Cell C does follow some kind of process, the processes that Cell C deems important,” she said.
Shirley Manson-Bishop, owner of Sapphire Management Consultants, said she could not comment on the Cell C situation, but from a general professional HR point of view, the retrenchment process within a company should be followed through with as much consultation between all parties, as quickly as possible. This, she said, is really what the labour law advocates.
Cell C was approached for comment but did not respond at the time of publication.
Here is a screenshot of the comment from Adele:
Staff Writer, IT News Africa