Bullard vows to appeal court ruling

2011-06-01 20:01

Johannesburg - Writer David Bullard vowed on Wednesday to appeal a ruling in favour of the Sunday Times, which fired him for an allegedly racist column four years ago.

"The judgment is nonsense," Bullard said in a telephonic interview.

"It is not based on the law... We have six weeks to respond and we will be taking it to a higher court."

Bullard was responding to a ruling by a statutory council in favour of Avusa Media, which rejected his argument that he was an Avusa employee at the time of his dismissal.

The statutory council found that he was independent contractor for Avusa.

Avusa editor-in-chief Mondli Makhanya declined to comment on the judgment.

Bullard said he would now take the matter to the Labour Court, which last year referred his case to the statutory council.

"They [Avusa] think that I'm going to go away. I do not go away. I'm going to screw them over," he said.

Bullard said he was not fighting the case for financial reasons and that he would donate any compensation money to charity.

He wrote a weekly Out to Lunch column for the Sunday Times from 1997, but was dismissed in April 2008 after his controversial piece titled "Uncolonised Africa wouldn't know what it was missing".

In this column, he imagined life in South Africa "if the evil white man hadn't come to disturb the rustic idyll of the early black settlers".

Bullard wrote: "[E]very so often a child goes missing from the village, eaten either by a hungry lion or a crocodile. The family mourn for a week or so and then have another child. Life is, on the whole, pretty good but there is something vital missing".

This, until Chinese investors arrived in Africa.

Bullard wrote: "Suddenly the indigenous population realise what they have been missing all along: someone to blame."

He was fired by Makhanya five days after the column was published.

At that stage, Makhanya told the Independent Online that the column was "extremely racist, inconsistent with the values of the Sunday Times and the Republic and extremely offensive".

- SAPA

Read more on:    mondli makhanya  |  david bullard
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