Man who assaulted maid ‘should work for women’s league’

2014-12-12 13:52

A man convicted of assaulting and calling a domestic worker a “kaffir” should be sentenced to helping black people with community service, the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court heard today.

Andy Hess, for the state, asked André van Deventer on the stand how he would feel about working with the African National Congress Women’s League.

She said this would help him get on with women and people of different races.

His immediate reaction was: “But I am a man.”

He conceded that he had a problem with aggression, particularly towards women, but did not think he was a racist.

He said he had learnt his lesson, but was scared of how residents might treat him, saying the media had portrayed him as a racist, just like [former] Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene Terre’Blanche.

“I am scared for my life,” he said in Afrikaans.

Hess said he had paid an admission-of-guilt fine over a similar incident against the complainant, 50-year-old Gloria Kente, in 2008, and needed to sort out his life.

“You have young children. Two daughters. How would you feel if a man treated your daughters like that? You need to deal with your problem,” Hess said.

Van Deventer he had tried to enrol himself in state programmes three times in two years, but was told there was no space.

Rural Development and Land Reform Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha sat in on the court case and seemed pleased at the suggestion of community service.

While the court was sitting, Skwatsha made loud remarks about how this would do Van Deventer well, attracting stares from a policewoman nearby.

Last month, the court found Van Deventer guilty of assaulting Kente and spitting in her face at the Table View home he shared with his then girlfriend Mariechin Pienaar last year.

Kente previously told the court he grabbed her pyjamas, verbally assaulted her and spat in her face.

He admitted to the crimen injuria charge, but denied assaulting her.

Testifying on the stand in mitigation of sentence, Van Deventer said he had written a letter of apology to Kente and had apologised on national television.

His work as a salesman had suffered because of his numerous court appearances and the way he was portrayed in the media.

“I have been attacked from all sides because of this case and it has had a huge impact on my life.”

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