Beard row man filed complaint before shooting

2011-06-03 00:00

THE man who shot and killed his manager after an argument during his disciplinary hearing last Friday had filed an application to the Equality Court two weeks before he committed the murder.

The Witness has learnt that Bonginkosi Nene, a security guard with Protea Coin Group and a police reservist, had acquired the services of a Legal Aid team for assistance with the application on grounds of unfair discrimination by his employer, the Protea Coin Group.

The Legal Aid lawyer, who wishes to remain unnamed, said papers had been faxed to the Protea Coin Group and to the sheriff of the court to be served to the Protea Coin Group.

Nene quarrelled with his employer after refusing to shave his beard and cut his hair on the grounds that he belongs to the Ebuhleni Shembe International church and his religion does not allow its members to cut their hair.

He shot his regional manager, Daniel van der Spuy, three times after a dispute over the matter.

Van der Spuy died on the scene at their offices in Berg Street.

The Witness contacted the Protea Coin Group to inquire why it was so important that their employees be clean-shaven. A manager who asked to remain unnamed said it is in line with clients’ demands.

“It is not that our company does not respect people’s religion. However, this is part of what our clients want,” he said.

A spokesperson for the SA Human Rights Commission, Vincent Moaga, said he cannot comment because the matter is sub-judice.

Nene appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday and is remanded in custody until June 13 for bail application.


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