GEORGE NEWS - An altercation at a popular restaurant in the George CBD over the past weekend between an ex-employee and its management has made waves on social media.
What at first seemed like a small disagreement, led to a video of the conversation being live-streamed on social media.
In the video Hein Scheepers, a former employee of The Bench in York Street, says last Saturday when he visited the restaurant he was asked to leave and was told the reason was that he used to work there.
The restaurant's management this week confirmed Scheepers had been employed with them for a week when his contract was terminated in March last year.
As to why Scheepers was asked to leave the restaurant last weekend, management said in November 2020 he was asked to leave and to not return after he became loud and abusive with a regular customer during a visit to the restaurant.
Scheepers went to the restaurant on Saturday with a friend for a slice of pizza and some coffee.
This visit ended in him live-streaming an awkward conversation between him and a manager on Facebook. He was asking a manager why the restaurant does not allow ex-employees to come there because it did not make sense to him.
He went further, asking the manager if it's a racial action. The comments left on Facebook about the video were mostly aimed against the restaurant, with people saying they would not go there again, or that the restaurant should be closed down if that is its attitude.
Scheepers told George Herald that he was innocent in all this. He said he was stunned to hear that he was not allowed at the restaurant just because he used to be an employee.
He said he was also told that the business was in its rights to reserve the right of admission, which means that, for whatever reason management decides they don't want a customer there, they can enforce it.
Mark Grover of The Bench said Scheepers was employed by them from 6 to 13 March 2020 and when his services were terminated a more than fair settlement was reached through the CCMA.
"Since then he has on at least one occasion been a welcome customer of the restaurant. Sometime around Mid-November he had a loud and abusive argument with two other customers who seemed to have a past disagreement. At this point he was asked to leave and not to return," said Grover.
Scheepers claimed it was the other way around; that a customer who came in was rude to him about what he was wearing. "Management just stood there, not doing anything, so I had to defend myself. I asked for the bill, paid and then left." He also said the restaurant had to pay him because he won the CCMA case.
Grover said The Bench Eatery and Bar does not and will not have a policy of not accepting past employees as customers.
"However, we will exercise our Right of Admission Reserved for those who threaten our customers, our staff and our business. Clearly, in his own footage which is circulating on social media, he is seen to break all Covid-19 laws and protocols, which we take very seriously. We will be taking this matter further in order to protect our valued staff and customers."
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