Appeal denied in UFS k-word case

2014-07-15 14:46
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Johannesburg - The Supreme Court of Appeal has rejected the appeal of a man accused of calling a black woman a “kaffir” in a dispute over parking at the University of the Free State (UFS).

In a strongly worded judgment handed down today, the City Press reported that acting Judge Rammaka Mathopo ruled that Lourens Prinsloo could not “claim that he did not know that the use of such a word is offensive and injurious to the dignity of the complainants”.

The unanimous three-judge bench held that: “It is trite that in this country, its use is not only prohibited but is actionable as well. In our racist past it was used to hurt, humiliate and denigrate and dehumanise Africans.

“The obnoxious word caused untold sorrow and pain to the feelings and dignity of the African people of this country.”

The court dismissed Prinsloo’s appeal against his R6 000 fine or twelve months imprisonment on two counts of crimen injuria and one count of assault.

The sentence is suspended for five years on certain conditions. The judgment does not specify what the conditions are.

The facts of the case were that a woman identified only as Ms Mkhiwane was dropping her daughter, Zintle off at the Vergeet-My-Nie female residence for her first year of studies at the UFS.

They were accompanied by Ayanda Mkhiwane, Ms Mkhiwane’s eldest daughter, who was completing her master’s degree at the university.

Altercation

The Mkhiwane family became involved in the altercation with Prinsloo after he allegedly told them that they had parked on a non-designated spot.

According to the state witnesses, Prinsloo became aggressive after Mkhiwane told him not to speak to her in a rude manner because she was old enough to be his mother.

Prinsloo then grabbed Mkhiwane by the chest, saying “I will beat the hell out of you, woman.”

Mkhiwane lost her balance and threatened to call the police.

Prinsloo then boasted that he was a lawyer and he would defend himself.

Prinsloo’s girlfriend, a student living at the residence, then physically dragged him away.

He then returned and reportedly said to the Mkhiwanes: “Julle fokken kaffirs.”

At the subsequent trial in the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court, Ms Mkhiwane testified that after she had been called this word, she felt “naked, worthless, belittled, dirty and that she felt like something had been taken away from her”.

Prinsloo, his girlfriend and another companion had testified that Prinsloo had been calm and did not swear. However, their versions were rejected as improbable by the magistrate’s court and the SCA.

Read more on:    university of the free state  |  bloemfontein  |  racism
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