Protesters staged a vigil at the weekend urging a new investigation into the death of a transport worker who died after being spat at by someone claiming to have Covid-19.
British Transport Police (BTP) concluded in June that Belly Mujinga’s death was not linked to the incident and closed the case.
Ms Mujinga , 47, died with Covid-19 on April 5, a few weeks after an incident at London’s Victoria railway station, working for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) as a ticket office clerk.
She had health problems which meant she should not have been placed on front line duties – and normally worked in the ticket office.
Her supervisor ordered her to work on the concourse without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
She was admitted to hospital on April 2, and died three days later. She left behind her husband, Lusamba, and 11-year-old daughter, Ingrid.
Tooting vigil organiser Andrea Gilbert said: “The death of Belly Mujinga highlights the way black workers are treated. She should never have been there and now her family have to go through life without her.”
There were also vigils at Victoria, Croydon and Clapham Junction stations.
BTP interviewed a 57-year-old man but said: “There was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution based upon the allegation that the man spat deliberately on Mrs Mujinga or said that he had the virus.”
The man also gave a negative antibody test, showing he had never had the illness.
A GTR spokesman said: “The medical condition which Belly Mujinga suffered from was not on the government’s shielding list at the time of the incident.
“Had it been, the company would have told her to shield, as we did with nearly 400 other colleagues. The following week, after the incident, her doctors said she should in fact shield.
“At that point she was told not to come into work, and to self-isolate.”
Speaking after GTR’s internal investigation last month, chief executive Patrick Verwer said: “Belly’s story continues to move us all, and we are heartbroken by her loss.
“At work, she was a dedicated and valued colleague and as a member of society, she sought to help those most in need.
“This has been an incredibly difficult period for Belly’s husband and young daughter. In talking to them we learned that we should have supported them better.
“For this reason, a key outcome of our internal investigation is to improve the support we give to families of an employee who has passed away.
“Additionally, we are creating a taskforce to review our approach to employee health across the business.
“Our colleagues are doing an incredible job at an unprecedented time for the whole country and their health and well-being is our absolute priority.
“Like everyone, we are learning about the impacts of this terrible virus as more information becomes available, and continue to make changes to further protect our employees when new advice comes to light.”
Pictured top: The vigil at Tooting Broadway Tube station
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.