EFF members have been arrested during a protest outside a flower shop where four women employees were reportedly forced to pull down their underwear and show whether or not they were menstruating to their boss in Port Elizabeth

The boss was reportedly searching for a person who left blood stains in the female bathrooms at JA Floral Distributors shop in Port Elizabeth.

The incident has sparked public outrage and prompted the EFF to picket outside the gates of the shop on Friday and on Monday.

In a statement, the popular store which mainly sells flowers and supplies decorations for parties, confirmed it has fired the manager who ordered the women to strip.

On Monday, police fired stun grenades to disperse about 70 EFF members who were protesting outside the Fairview store in support of the workers.

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Four EFF members were arrested.

They were arrested by public order police, after talks with singing EFF members reached a stalemate.

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beegte said the four will appear in court soon for hindering the police from executing their duties.

“They failed to protest within their designated area and blocked the entrance of the store.”

News24 can reveal that the incident is also receiving attention of the SAPS’ Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit.

Three officers from the unit were seen at the store interviewing the managers of the store away from the protest.

JA Floral Distributors announced in a public statement that it has reacted with expediency to the unfortunate incident.

Treated

“As a family business, JA Floral Distributors has always prided themselves on how staff is treated. JA Floral Distributors absolutely and categorically reject[s] any behaviour that compromises the integrity, dignity and privacy of any person, but particularly our valued team,” said Dominique de Freitas, JA Floral Distributors Manager.

“We wish to assure everyone – our staff, our valued customers and the general public that we take this matter extremely seriously and consequently, have terminated the services of the person concerned with immediate effect,” added De Freitas.

De Freitas said: “JA Floral has been engaging with the relevant parties and the matter has been dealt with in accordance with their internal policies and legislation.”

EFF regional spokesperson Luvuyo Ponase said the party decided to protest at the gates after the owners of the company refused to entertain them, saying:

“We have a list of demands and one of the demands is that the women who were degraded and dehumanised here by the daughter of the owner, should be placed on paid leave, subjected to trauma counselling, and the owners must sit down with the EFF and show accountability. Their arrogant response was that EFF is not a labour union and therefore they won’t talk to us.”

Ponase added that: “We don’t trust this axing of the manager. She is their daughter. There is no guarantee that she will not be drawing a salary sitting at home.”

Ponase said the incident was sexual harassment and violation of human rights.

Author: News24.com