Eatery faces claim over ‘darkies’ dig

2011-10-15 17:17

The Johannesburg outlet of American restaurant chain Hooters, famous worldwide for its scantily clad waitresses, has been slapped with a R1 million lawsuit over a racial boob.

The Fourways Hooters has been hauled in front of the Equality Court after they issued a bill emblazoned with the word “darkies” to three customers.

Complainants Steve Mweene and Felix Chalwe are claiming damages of R500 000 each from Hooters and a written unconditional apology.

Their friend will institute separate legal proceedings.

The two say the incident happened on July 28 after they had finished about R150 of drinks at their regular hangout spot.

Mweene (27) said they were shocked to see that under “customer name” the restaurant had typed “DARKIES”.

Hooters, which also has a branch in Durban, runs a Ms Hooters competition locally and invites women to apply to be Hooters girls.

However, Mweene and Chalwe failed to see the lighter side of the restaurant.

Their case is due before the Equality Court at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.

It has been delayed after Hooters failed to respond to the complaint by the deadline of last Thursday.

Mweene, Chalwe and a friend, who has chosen not to be part of the case, ordered three rounds of one-litre Black Label beers.

They say their waitress, only known as Charmaine, asked each of them their names.

“We were shocked when the till slip came out saying ‘darkies’,” Chalwe said.

They claim the manager on duty at the time, Sean Klokie, initially laughed at their complaint.

They were later offered free drinks should they return on another day.

“Hooters told us we were trying to extort money from them,” Chalwe said.

He said Hooters management claimed this was not an issue and that they dealt with such matters all the time.
They also opened a case of crimen injuria and discrimination at the Douglasdale police station.

Chalwe said an apology and a show of remorse would have been enough on the night.

But Hooters never apologised or did anything to that effect, he said.

“It shows a lack of respect for our kind,” he added.

Mweene accused Hooters of treating them like people who do not matter.

Douglasdale police spokesman Warrant Officer Balan Muthan said the investigating officer referred the criminal charges laid by the two men to prosecutors for a decision on whether or not to prosecute.

Hooters’ legal representatives, Durban-based Mooney Ford Attorneys, would not comment on the case.

Klokie has now moved to the Hooters branch in Durban and could not be reached for comment.

A Hooters Fourways general manager said he had heard about the incident but he was not willing to discuss it.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.