Root cause: Man sued over a potato thrown in anger

2012-08-25 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — It was perhaps the most expensive potato ever, the baby potato that Dawie Grundlingh threw seven years ago.

On August 7, 2005, Grundlingh came home from church to find Bernard “Porky” Ashworth and his wife, Laetitia, making a video of his property.

According to the Ashworths, they were obtaining evidence that Grundlingh was illegally parking a large truck outside his house, so they could report him to the traffic department.

Grundlingh says Laetitia got out of hand when he tried to talk to them. He went back inside to peel potatoes for a potjiekos.

“I took one of the little ones and threw it at them.”

It was meant for Porky. “But he lifted his foot and it rolled underneath and hit her. It was a horrible mistake,” said Grundlingh.

The Ashworths sued him for R30 000 for Laetitia’s pain and suffering. Most of the claim, their lawyer Hennie Bence said yesterday, was actually for her public humiliation, after Grundlingh shoved his finger in her face and threatened her.

However, before the case went to trial yesterday, the parties settled for R2 000 and legal costs.

“It wasn’t about compensation, but a moral victory for women’s rights,” the Ashworths said.

Grundlingh, who paid a R300 admission of guilt fine for assault shortly after the incident, said he’s done with potatoes.

“I still eat them, but I don’t peel them and I don’t throw them around.

“Fortunately my wife understands and excuses me from peeling duties.”

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