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Pagan woman fights CCMA for leave days

Shuveny Bower-Louw from Randburg claims she was discriminated against at her job because she practises Paganism.

South Africans have the right to observe their religious holidays without any penalty from their employers, but Shuveny Bower-Louw discovered that The Foschini Group does not recognise her Paganism as a religion.

Paganism is based on a reverence for nature, focusing on rituals coming from the indigenous people of the world.

Shuveny, formerly the manager of an @Home store, claims that she has experienced discrimination from her employers for three years. Complaints have been laid against her regarding the burning incense and carrying of black feathers around at work.

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In 2016, Shuveny applied for leave from work on April 30 to celebrate the Pagan harvest festival, and was told "Halloween is not a public holiday".

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Shuveny took her employer, The Foschini Group, to the CCMA with this complaint, which also included an appeal from the South African Pagan Council.

The company said that it recognises Christmas and Easter, and all Jewish, Muslim and Hindu holidays. They said they do not discriminate against anyone who falls outside of this list, however those individuals will have to take days from their annual leave for their holidays.  

Shuveny is a life coach and healer who focuses on helping people to address the emotional and physical pain from the past, and to let go of it in order to prosper in the future.

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