Egg man cries foul

2013-10-10 00:00

THE Westville businessman who admitted to throwing eggs at his neighbours as they celebrated Diwali has spoken out for the first time after the fight was “resolved” on Monday.

In a letter read out at the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court by his lawyer, Jackie Schuit unconditionally apologised for his actions.

Dr Surendhra Chetty, a prominent district surgeon, and his son Rinesh, a specialist orthopaedic surgeon, and their family were celebrating Diwali in November 2010 when Schuit pelted the yard with eggs.

The police were called and the Chettys later lodged a R200 000 civil claim against Schuit.

Yesterday Schuit accused the Chettys of disrespecting him, his family and his neighbours.

Rinesh Chetty hit back at Schuit, saying he had not thought through his present actions, and chose to have a trial by media after he admitted guilt and unconditionally apologised for his actions in a court of law.

Schuit, in a statement handed to The Witness, said: “It would be a shame if Surendhra, Rinesh and Yavani Chetty are examples of the spirit and purpose of Diwali as they have portrayed. The version of events supplied by Yavani Chetty differs significantly to what was contained in the Chettys’ court papers.”

He accused Chetty of misleading the The Witness in an earlier article.

“On the evening in question, the Chettys celebrated Diwali by setting off bomb crackers which exploded at the same height as my bedroom window. They did not inform us that they would be celebrating Diwali with bomb crackers and other exploding fireworks. We would have taken the necessary precautions had they done so.

“I, my family and friends were severely distressed by the loud, persistent bangs. Our animals were traumatised and our domestic worker and her child were hiding under their beds during the explosions. In an attempt to alleviate the distress being suffered, I shouted to the Chettys that they discontinue with the bangs. They ignored my pleading,” he said.

It was at this stage that he pelted the neighbour’s property with eggs “in a further attempt to get their attention”.

He said the Chettys and their guests had approached the boundary wall and hurled threats at him. “I felt a real threat of violence,” his statement read.

He said later two police officers arrived at his house to inquire about the commotion.

“They did not reprimand me for hitting any of the Chettys or their guests with eggs. They would have done so had anyone been hit.”

According to Schuit, on the day of the court hearing, Rinesh Chetty had stated that they were persuaded by their legal team to abandon their entire claim against him, including legal costs.

“I, in return, and in an effort to move forward, agreed to apologise for any perceived harm that may have been caused that evening. I did not admit to the Chettys’ accusations. I was painted as a villain in The Witness newspaper.

“My reputation and business were attacked in the most public manner. In hindsight it is apparent that this was the destructive intention of the Chettys all along. They have unapologetically used the media in an attempt to smear my name and damage my livelihood,” he said.

Rinesh Chetty said Schuit’s latest comments “once again showed the traits that he exhibited during the night in question”.

“You would think he has learnt his lesson and be sincere in his comments. After unconditionally apologising and admitting guilt he persists to justify his actions and in doing so shows no sincerity in his apology nor any respect to our legal system... Give a guilty man enough rope and he will hang himself,” said Chetty.

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