Cape Town – A man who hurled verbal abuse, including the “k” word, at a young black woman in a shop in Pinelands, Cape Town, has to pay her R8 000 in compensation for the humiliation he caused her.
Bruce Allan, 35, of Parow Valley, appeared in the Goodwood District Court on Friday before Magistrate Sean Lea, who found him guilty on a charge of criminal injuria.
In addition to the compensatory order he was sentenced to nine months correctional supervision involving six months house arrest. He was also ordered to perform community service for the nine months in the form of cleaning and maintenance at the Parow police station. His punishment also included a course in anger management, as selected by the prison authorities, at his own expense.
Lea warned Allan that the prison authorities would check regularly, without prior notice, to ensure that he was at home when he had to be and that he had not consumed any liquor or narcotics, or used medicines not prescribed by a doctor.
The incident happened in November last year at Lino’s Tuck Shop in Gunner’s Circle, Pinelands, where Allan needed assistance to play the Lotto.
A witness to the incident, who also worked at the tuck shop, told the court she heard Allan asking the victim for assistance.
The victim was busy cleaning the refrigerator in the shop and asked Allan, politely, to wait. The witness said Allan then started swearing at the victim, calling her a k*****, a f***** B****, and a bobbejaan. He shouted that the staff were uneducated, did not belong in the Western Cape, and that they should return to the Eastern Cape.
The magistrate said the courts had a duty to punish offenders severely to end racial bigotry and hate speech. He would be failing in his duty if it did not punish Allan accordingly. An individual’s constitutional rights to dignity and respect were among the most important rights in the country’s democracy. The time had come for the courts to send a clear message to society that racism and bigotry would not be tolerated.
Lea said the court had seriously considered jailing Allan but preferred the option of correctional supervision involving house arrest without prison. Some people thought house arrest was lenient, but it was not. House arrest deprived the offender of his liberty when he most wanted it and at the same time spared the offender the ordeal of having to mix with hardened criminals in prison.