Hairdresser claims not to know how to cut black people’s hair

2012-05-01 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A butler from Melkbosstrand near Cape Town could approach the Human Rights Commission or the equality courts after a hairdresser refused to cut his hair, HRC chief Kayum Ahmed said yesterday.

Rapport reported on Sunday that Victor Katekwa was refused service by Tanya Louw, owner of the Barber Shop, a week ago.

She told Rapport that she doesn’t know how to cut black people’s hair, and also claimed that “they” (black people) don’t want to pay what she charges for a haircut. However, she indicated she wanted to apologise.

Yesterday, she said Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is “dealing with” the issue and she had been told not to speak to the media. Speaking on his behalf yesterday, Katekwa’s employer said she had advised him to meet with Louw if she wanted to apologise.

Zille said yesterday she had asked Cape Town municipal speaker Dirk Smit to speak to both parties and report to her. She declined to comment further, as Smit had not had a chance to speak to Katekwa.

In 2003, the former head of the HRC, Jody Kollapen, took the owners of a Centurion hair salon to the equality court after being refused a haircut there. The court ruled that the salon had discriminated against Kollapen and other black people and fined them R10 000, to be paid to a charity of Kollapen’s choice.

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