S. African Security Guard Says He Was Fired Because He's Gay

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday September 5, 2014

A security guard at a prominent private school in Johannesburg, South Africa, says he was fired after his boss found out he's gay, Mamba Online, an LGBT news site in South Africa, reports.

According to Alexander Bruce, his boss found his Facebook profile and discovered he is a "moffie," a South African anti-gay slur. Bruce says he was on a three-month contract to be a security guard and was promised further employment when the contract ended. But after taking a break to have his appendix removed, he was contacted by his supervisor.

"He told me that he came out of a meeting and said, 'We decided not to renew your contract. We went onto your Facebook profile and you're a moffie and we can't employ moffies at the school. It's school policy,'" Bruce told Mamba Online. "I'm embarrassed. Not because I'm gay but it's a slap in the face. What does my sexual orientation have to do with my job?"

Bruce also says he lost the apartment he moved into to be closer to the school. He moved into the place on the basis that he was promised more work. He adds that his boss made anti-gay comments about other people a number of times before he was let go.

Mamba Online reports it knows the name of the supervisor and the school for whom Bruce worked, but has chosen not to reveal the information since the publication cannot get comments from school officials as the school is closed until next week.

Since being fired, Bruce has contacted LGBT rights group GALA, which connected him with Labor Research Services, which has sent the school a letter on his behalf, requesting an urgent meeting when the school opens.

"It's not clear if the school's management is aware of why he may have been dismissed," GALA's Anthony Manion said. "Both GALA and Labour Research Services have made themselves available to assist with meetings between Alexander and the school. If we can't come to a resolution then we will assist Alexander with taking the matter to the CCMA."

Bruce said he wants his job back.

"I loved my job," he said. "I learnt a lot there. I enjoyed working with the kids and the kids adored me."