Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010

Sacked South African sex worker claims unfair dismissal

A sex worker in Durban's Point Road
There have been some calls to legalise prostitution for the World Cup

A South African sex worker has gone to court, saying she was unfairly sacked by a Cape Town massage parlour.

Known as Kylie, she was dismissed for choosing her clients and spending time with her boyfriend who did not pay for her services, local media report.

The judge said he was not sure how a person engaged in an illegal activity could challenge her dismissal in court.

But Kylie's lawyer said her case was about unfair dismissal, not whether selling sex should be legalised.

Several previous courts have refused to hear the case, on the basis that sex work is illegal, reports the South African Press Association.

Three judges at the Labour Appeals Court are now considering whether they can intervene.

"When dismissed you are made to stop with something criminal... but then you say: 'Please protect me from someone who is stopping me from doing something criminal' - it doesn't makes sense to me," said Judge President Raymond Zondo, Sapa reports.

Kylie has spent seven years trying to seek redress after being sacked in 2003.

She is reported to have since left the profession.

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