Tribunal over race claim

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A SUNDERLAND woman is claiming at an employment tribunal that she was racially discriminated against by her NHS bosses.

 Betty Mokoena, who lives on Wearside and is originally from Africa, says she was discriminated against because of her race while she worked for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

 Ms Mokoena, a former nurse, became a project manager in procurement for the trust, and worked at an office in Peterlee.

 She claims concerns her line manager had about her communicating with commissioners and suppliers was because she was black and from Africa.

 Ms Mokoena said she was only allowed to attend a few meetings with commissioners by her managers because they did not like how she spoke, or her accent.

 But her former manager Alison Brown strongly refuted the claims.

 She said her concerns were based purely on the fact Ms Mokoena had made such a big job change, and would not be familiar with the technical language associated with it.

 Ms Mokoena worked in the role from September 2008 to March this year before she was made redundant.

 She does not claim her race played any role in losing her job.

 The employment tribunal at Teesside Law Courts, in Middlesbrough, is due to last the rest of the week.