Agun wielding man waltzes into the reception.
People scatter in all directions and others run for cover behind the counter. The security guards are in panic mode and chaos ensues.
The man threatens to kill everyone unless the department “pays him his money”.
As the drama unfolds, one of the security guards, who knows the man, calls Hester Hattingh to come reason with him Hester Hattingh.
The people scattered around the reception watch as Hattingh softly speaks to the man and calms him down.
“He was very upset about the case and threatened to shoot a lady.
I pretended that I wasn’t afraid and went to sit next to him to ask him to calmly explain why he was upset.
I assisted him and promised to personally follow up on the case with
the Office of the Compensation Commissioner until we are able to get an answer.
“This matter went on for a couple of months and ended up at Labour Court. He unfortunately lost his case but at least he understood why it was turned down.”
The man was a teacher from a school in Vereeniging who was injured on duty and was demanding compensation.
This was just another day in the office for Hattingh, who was named Outstanding Public Official at the 2014 Premier’s Service Excellence Awards.
She works at the Gauteng Department of Finance (GDF) where she administers injury on duty (IOD) claims.
She ensures that all the relevant documents accompany the claim and liaises with the claimant.
Hattingh is the go-between the claimant and the department from the time the claim is submitted up until it is finalised.
On a typical day she responds to more than 200 emails from Gauteng
Provincial Government employees who need assistance in processing their IOD claims.
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