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".

  • POLLENYS - 2011-06-01 20:16

    What Bullard wrote is nothing worse than the racist comments spewed by Malema and his cohorts. Maybe it was a bit too close to the truth from Bullard's point of view. Maybe it was shortly after he spended time in hospital after being attacked and knifed (or was it shot?) by intruders.

      GT - 2011-06-01 20:42

      Except Bullard did it in very clearly with his tongue in his cheek in a satirical column of long standing tradition. Politicians do so with a straight face and purpose far beyond creating a little thought. The PC police are destroying free thought and free speech. I tend to think that people can make up their own mind about what people say, we dont need courts to do it.

      Win14 - 2011-06-01 22:04

      Absolutely. Bullard is one of the best. He must be a relative of Evita Bezuidenhout. Deliciously acerbic and sardonic. But these blacks take it too seriously once again, and then blame the whites for being too race-sensitive. I hope you win your appeal, mister! Your columns were simply the best. And, compared to some of the racist diatribe I get to read here in the News24 comments, you are a virgin choir boy. We need you now more than ever before .. you are a verbal Zappiro and I hope you can find another well-known platform to show all of them up starkers as before. I think it was because of you that they came up with this new info bill .. they hate people with xray vision. Good luck to you!

  • Johan - 2011-06-01 20:47

    Gwede Mantashe said "whites are too sensitive about race". Me thinks Mondli Makhanya is too sensitive as well. Hey Gwede?? What do you say now??

      Matt - 2011-06-02 09:03

      @ Johan - please don't encourage Gwede to speak, ever... :-)

  • velastardust - 2011-06-01 20:48

    So the truth hurts! David Bullard is one of the most honest and consistent commentators on events in South Africa. When the truth hurts, shoot the messenger. Hope everyone is practicing their Mandarin.

      Matt - 2011-06-02 08:59

      I agree. He's a Yorkshireman like me :-) and it is actually in our culture that you "tell it like it is" with no regard for what people think. We tend to be blunt, to the point, and often we offend, though mostly we don't mean to... Like, take Yorkshire Cricket. Till 1992 it was elite - even the best cricketers in the world couldn't play for them unless they were born in Yorkshire. So in the late 90s, Headingley commissioned iron gates with a design to reflect YCCC's history - and there were Indian players in there. Now, remember the club's history/policy... everyone thought it but nobody dared to say it for fear of being called racist. Then then interviewed fellow Yorkie, ex-cricketer Geoff Boycott, who said: "What the bloody hell are those Indians doing in our gates?". The PC brigade had a field day, the people were stunned - but it was exactly what everyone thought and the media defended him, saying "this is why we need Yorkshiremen in the world, to tell the truth when nobody else dares to"... And if David Bullard offended, well heck didn't anyone see him on Noleen (SABC3, ok so maybe nobody watched, lol) when this all happened - his first words were "I'm sorry if I caused offence". No side-skirting the issue. Then he debated some black folk; he was using intelligent examples and asking them questions, all they could say was that he's a racist white - not listening to him, not debating him at all - just simple, unintelligent attacks - and definitely no forgiveness!

  • J V - 2011-06-01 20:57

    Can any one point me in the right direction - archives? It would be appreciated :)

      Yoni - 2011-06-01 21:40

      Just google the name of his article.

  • POLLENYS - 2011-06-01 21:55

    Columnist Annelie Botes was banned by Media24 newspapers over a piece in which she wrote she does not like black people - they make her feel threatened. She also won a prize as columnist, but it was then withdrawn. However, back at the ranch it was a know fact that she does a lot of outreach and charity to blacks. I think it was Mamphela Ramphele (or Rhoda Kadalie?) that said this country's biggest drawback is political correctness.

      Matt - 2011-06-02 09:03

      Not just SA's drawback. Check the UK and political correctness. It's so bad there that even ordering a black coffee is deemed a racist statement! Serious! You cannot say anything there without the threat of legal action... and boy do the locals resent it

  • Gen - 2011-06-01 22:14

    He must have hit a nerve though!!!!!

  • Gen - 2011-06-01 22:18

    He must have hit a nerve though!!!!!

  • matla - 2011-06-02 07:50

    U must understand that we are very patient , but the time will come when you will be forced out of Africa - just like Idi Amin did to the Indians in the 70's Africa for African

      GDR - 2011-06-02 08:20

      F@ck you matla - we will not leave. Just you come and try.

      Matt - 2011-06-02 09:01

      And I emigrated here and naturalised - I agree with GDR. F*** you Matla, I will also not leave, just you come and try. - 2011-06-02 09:43


      Andre Grobler - 2011-06-02 09:48

      Slip into something a bit more comfortable, like a coma.

      Faan Kruger - 2014-11-07 11:00

      hey matla....go and tell your fellow "africans" , living in the usa and europe that they should also return. no....demand that they must return the same way you want to force whites out of africa. to be very honest....that phrase is getting as out dated and silly as the blame it on apartheid phrase. cannot even call it an argument because its really just a silly phrase or slogan used by someone who ran out of something to contribute in a debate

  • pop101 - 2011-06-02 08:22

    Plain case of truth hurts. Go Bullard, give them hell.

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