Racial abuse victim offered R3000 to drop charges

2014-10-16 16:32

A Mpumalanga man who assaulted his father’s employee and called him a “k****r” has opted to settle out of court instead of answering to charges of common assault and human rights violation.

Jason Calligeros (25) – a son of the caretaker of Waterberry complex in Mbombela, George Calligeros, – allegedly pushed, punched and kicked Jeremia Fela (49) on September 27. Calligeros also tried to hit the general worker with his car, but his colleague pulled him away.

All this happened at the complex in full view of children who were in the swimming pool.

Calligeros was due to appear in the Nelspruit Regional Court today, but he apologised to Fela and offered to pay him R3 000 provided he dropped the common assault charges and his complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission.

The commission had already promised to investigate the matter and refer it to the Equality Court.

Calligeros senior declined to comment.

“I must be honest with you, I’ve got no comment on this matter. Jason will also not comment,” said Calligeros senior.

Fela said he did not know why he was assaulted.

“I arrived at work and passed him sitting on the stairs and started with my work. I was standing when he rushed towards me and started to assault me while calling me a k****r,” said Fela.

Fela told his co-worker about what happened and he advised him to go to a guard room.

“While my co-worker and I were walking there, Calligeros tried to hit me with his car but my co-worker pulled me away. He continued calling me a k****r after we arrived at the guard room. His mother was there and she offered me an apple and water with sugar,” he said.

Fela said he went to the gate to call the police who took him to hospital, and that was when a resident at the complex, Nonhlanhla Mondlane, intervened on his behalf.

Mondlane assisted Fela to lay charges and also approached the human rights commission.

“I felt sorry for this old man. He was crying like a child. This happened in front of children and my son asked me what k****r is,” said Mondlane.

She was present when Fela, Calligeros and a prosecutor reached the out-of-court settlement.

“The most important thing is that [Calligeros] has taken responsibility for his actions and apologised. I hope he will learn to respect other people. It was recorded that they would not fire Fela because he opened a case against them. I think this was the best solution under the circumstances,” said Mondlane.

Fela said it was the first time that he had been assaulted and called a k****r at the complex.

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