Joburg restaurant in racism charges

2015-01-19 13:03

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The upmarket Spetada restaurant in Rosebank is at the centre of a racism storm. Picture: spetada.co.za

Four friends, prominent TV and film professionals, have accused a Joburg restaurant of racism and prejudice after a lunch date late last year.

Their experience has led to a complaint being filed at the South African Human Rights Commission against Paul da Silva, owner of the Spetada eatery in Rosebank.

Da Silva has in turn accused them of playing the race card to avoid paying for their meal.

According to the friends – Lesedi Moche, Mmabatho Kau, Karabo Lediga and Thato Mogotsi – they met at the Mediterranean restaurant on the afternoon of Wednesday December 31 last year.

According to Moche’s commission complaint, soon after she began eating she noticed what looked like a small cockroach underneath her lamb chop.

After complaining and sending the meal back, the floor manager offered her another meal, which she declined, but the group continued to drink and eat the remaining meals at the table.

Despite being assured that the meal wouldn’t be charged, when the bill arrived they noticed that it had been. They queried it and the waiter said the lamb chops could not be removed as the manager would make the staff pay for the meal.

They asked to speak to the manager and their request was declined.

“Thato went up first after we realised the waiter was now very nervous,” Kau told City Press. “When she returned she was shocked and frazzled, which is when I went up to talk the situation through.”

According to their account, Da Silva began levelling a series of insults at Kau. Accusing the friends of wanting to get away without paying, he allegedly shouted: “Get the f*ck out of my kitchen. What all you black girls need is a good shagging … All you black girls need a f*ck ... Get the f*ck out of my kitchen.”

Kau says that he yelled at her in full view of staff and patrons.

Not wanting to make the situation worse for the waiter and floor manager, who the friends say were looking “nervous and frightened”, they decided to pay the full bill and leave.

But according to Da Silva, this is not a true reflection of what took place. He told City Press that the group came for lunch while he was in the kitchen cooking. He denies that there was a cockroach in the food, just a small flying insect.

“We have an outdoor setting, so we unfortunately have things flying in,” he said. According to his account, the clients were “attacking” his floor manager and refusing to speak to her, only him.

He says that when confronted by the group he was “cordial, calm and collected at all times, considering I was working in a very busy kitchen at the time ...

“One of the ladies came into the kitchen and was insisting and threatening towards me. They belittled me and spoke down to me,” he claims. “As far as I am concerned, the only racists here are these ladies.”

City Press has traced other accounts of racism at the restaurant online, on Twitter, Hello Peter and TripAdvisor.

When asked about these, Da Silva responded: “The incidents are about paying bills. People don’t want to pay and turn to racism. Because I am white it’s easy for people to say I am racist.”

The complainants have called for a boycott of Spetada by their friends and family. They say they are merely relaying their own bad experience.

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.