CT domestic worker breaks down during testimony

2014-06-11 19:15
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Cape Town - A Cape Town domestic worker had to be consoled on Wednesday after testifying how her employer's boyfriend allegedly assaulted and swore at her.

Gloria Kente, 50, told Cape Town magistrate Alta le Roux what happened last June between herself and Andre van Deventer at the home they all shared in Table View.

Van Deventer is on trial on charges of common assault and crimen injuria.

She said she had asked Van Deventer to look after her employer's child while she took a shower at the end of the workday.

While in the bathroom, she said she heard Van Deventer shouting that they were "paying this kaffir R2 400 to look after the child".

Kente said she left the bathroom and asked him whether he was speaking about her, which he confirmed.

"Andre came to me whilst I was standing in my room door. He grabbed my pyjamas in front of my chest and said he hated a kaffir. Then he said 'I hate you as well, Gloria'. Then he spitted [sic] in my face," she said.

She was being cross-examined by Van Deventer's lawyer, Henry van der Westhuizen, who questioned her version of events.

At lunch, Kente left the stand and sat with her head in her hands. A group of women consoled her.

After lunch, she continued to explain what happened after she was spat at.

"That's when he mentioned that there are black people throwing kaka at the airport. We are not the ones who are going to be cleaning that. That's when I broke loose from him and didn't do anything at all."

Kente demonstrated how she took her hands and forced Van Deventer's grip loose by pushing back.

"He further mentioned that these kaffirs stole their land and he wishes that [the late statesman Nelson] Mandela died in hospital."

Van der Westhuizen said her employer, Mariechin Pienaar, and Van Deventer would both testify to a different version that never included assault.

The lawyer said Pienaar would testify that Kente and her boyfriend had shouted at each other and she broke up the fight.

They would also testify that Kente had told Van Deventer: "You sleep with a black woman. You have black kids. Why are you saying these things to me?"

Pienaar would testify further that she went into Kente's room afterwards to see if she was okay and had told her to ignore her boyfriend because he had been drinking.

Kente denied this version and said Pienaar had stayed in her bedroom instead of intervening and could thus not testify as to what she had seen.

Kente has also applied to the Equality Court in Cape Town for R100 000 in damages and an unconditional apology from Van Deventer.

The equality case was expected to be heard next month.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  crime
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