She called me a 'black cockroach' - Disabled parking bay row turns racial

2016-04-07 11:46
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Durban - A Durban man, who only has partial use of his legs, was at the centre of a fresh race row which played out at a La Lucia shopping centre on Tuesday.

Siyabonga Ndlovu has accused a yet unnamed elderly woman of calling him a "kaffir" and a "black cockroach" during a verbal altercation over a disabled parking space at Eastman’s Spar.

Ndlovu, who spoke exclusively to News24, said that he had pulled into the disabled parking bay and was in the driver’s seat of his car when he heard a commotion.

"I go to that Spar a lot because I live in the area and usually there is a cone in the disabled parking bay by the ramp. On that day we just needed a few small things and it seemed like a chore to get my wheelchair out of the boot and go up the steep ramp, so my girlfriend ran inside the shop," he said.

"All of a sudden, I hear this banging on my car and I got such a fright; I thought I was being hijacked," he added.

As Ndlovu turned to look up, he saw an elderly white lady using a bronze crutch to hit his car.

"She was hitting my car and calling me all sorts of horrible names. She called me a black cockroach and a kaffir because she thought I wasn’t disabled and was using the parking bay," he said.

Ndlovu said that he suffered a congenital disorder and had partial use of his legs, and used a wheelchair and crutches when he needed exercise.

'This woman started losing her mind'

Eastman’s Spar manager Gavin East said that store management was aware of an "altercation between two customers".

"From what we can gather, is that the gentleman parked in disabled bay and our car guard approached and there was no sticker on his car and he was asked to move," he said.

"He got upset about that and the guard called the security officer who approached the man and became aware that he was actually disabled."

"We don’t know what happened between this man and the lady," East said. 

Ndlovu, however, said he has the required disc on his car.

"I have a disc on my car from the municipality and to get that I needed to go and apply for it and go and be examined by a doctor. I am disabled, it is just that my wheelchair was not in sight, so this woman started losing her mind," he said.

The two exchanged words, with Ndlovu sitting in his car before a car guard employed by the Spar also came and told him to move.

Read more on:    durban  |  racism

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