Apology at last for insults over Diwali in Westville

2013-10-08 00:00

A WESTVILLE businessman who pelted his neighbours with eggs and hurled abuse at them while they celebrated Diwali, has unconditionally apologised for his actions.

Jackie Schuit, who owns Milky Lane at the Pavilion, through his lawyer, said he was sorry for the November 2010 incident.

Dr Surendhra Chetty, a prominent district surgeon, and his son Rinesh, a specialist orthopaedic surgeon, were in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday to listen to the apology.

In his letter of apology read before the Pinetown civil claims court yesterday, Schuit unconditionally apologised for his “abuse” of the Chetty family and undertook “not to repeat the misconduct”.

Family spokesperson Yavani Chetty said her family were left embarrassed and traumatised after Schuit pelted them with eggs.

Chetty said on the day in question they had two packets of fireworks that she said were not big bangs.

“Back then we had three dogs and two cats. The fireworks we had were not the extreme noisy type. Since this is a very religious occasion to us we started with a prayer, as is the norm. My children were here with their partners. We had also invited our housekeeper, who brought her two children, a toddler and a baby,” Chetty told The Witness yesterday.

She said as the housekeeper was walking around the yard at about 7 pm, she and her toddler were pelted with eggs.

“By then we had noticed that something was not right and when my husband walked to the other side of the house — he was also hit with eggs.

“He could see Mr Schuit throwing eggs on to our yard and when he approached him for an explanation, things got worse,” she said.

Chetty said Schuit insulted them, saying: “You f**king people must get out of my neighbourhood and do your Diwali elsewhere.”

She said they called the Westville police, who arrived soon afterwards.

“The three officers looked at the egg shells and where we were lighting our fireworks. They assured us that we were within our rights — lighting the fireworks at the prescribed time allowed. It was such an embarrassing moment and since then we have not celebrated Diwali as we should because of that experience,” she said.

Rinesh Chetty said Schuit had been given multiple opportunities to apologise.

“It was only when he realised that this was serious and we would not back down yesterday that he sent his lawyer across to us as we were about to enter the court.

“We pursued this matter because we wanted to make it known that this type of behaviour is unacceptable.”

When contacted for comment, Schuit said he would release a statement through his lawyer.

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