Sentence reduced for racist insult

2008-12-02 00:00

High court judges of appeal have confirmed the conviction of a Glencoe man, Fanie Terblanche (38), on a charge of crimen injuria for calling a man “k****r”.

Acting Judge S. Luthuli and Judge Trevor Gorven found, however, that when the offence was committed “feelings were still running high” as the complainant, Wonderboy Magubane, had been convicted shortly before of assaulting Terblanche’s wife.

In the circumstances they found that the fine of R4 000 or eight months’ imprisonment imposed on Terblanche by Glencoe magistrate N.P. Khumalo, was unduly harsh.

The judges noted that Terblanche earns R3 500 per month.

Acting Judge Luthuli said that in his view, although the offence was serious, having regard to the circumstances of the case, society would not demand that Terblanche be severely punished. That did not mean society would condone his conduct, he added.

The appeal judges reduced the fine to R1 000 or three months’ imprisonment, but ordered that a further fine of R2 000 or four months’ imprisonment be wholly suspended for five years.

The incident happened in the Glencoe Spar supermarket on February 20, 2005.

Magubane said he felt insulted and humiliated.

He testified that he had been fined for a common assault on Terblanche’s wife. On that day he was inside the Spar buying polony when Terblanche came straight to him, grabbed him on the neck and said; “You want to touch my woman again, I will shoot you, you bleddy [sic] f****n’ k****r”.

A state witness, Sonja Pieters, confirmed that she heard someone say; “If you touch my wife or another white woman, I will kill you, k****r”.

Luthuli said Pieters had no interest in the case and gave her evidence in a straightforward manner.

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