Man pleads NOT GUILTY over racist remarks

2019-10-23 06:01

A HEATED argument broke out at the Greytown Magistrate’s Court between an accused and a Greytown businessman during cross examination on October 17.

Greytown businessman Regesh Govender was testifying in court against Johan Olivier, who allegedly labelled Diwali a“C***** Vaalie” celebration in a Facebook post that was posted on November 7, 2018.

Olivier told the court that he was furious when he posted the message on Facebook.

During cross examination, Olivier, who chose to represent himself in court, said the post was not directed at anyone, adding that he made a typing error. Govender, who was visibly angry by what Olivier had said, argued that the post that Olivier made on Facebook mentioned his name.

“My name appeared in his post. Why did my name appear in his post if it wasn’t directed at me. He is lying. The post was directed at me,” Govender said.

Olivier said: “When I phoned you, did you not come to me?”

Govender said: “I did not come to you. But you came to my business in the presence of my family and friends.”

Govender, in his detailed explanation, told the court that the words “C***** Vaalie” were an insult to the Hindu community. He said the words were equivalent to the use of the word K-word”.

According to Govender, the word “C*****” is a derogatory term given to Indians by their oppressers in previous times. He said Indians used to be servants at government railways. He told the court that if the Indian servants were called using that word and they did not respond, they were punished severely.

Govender said the word Vaalie” is a term used for a person who wanders around with no home.

In his testimony, Govender showed the court a post that Olivier posted on Facebook and comments from furious Indian community who responded on the post. He said Olivier’s utterance was an insult to the whole Indian community.

Govender also told the court that on the day that Olivier posted the message he was celebrating Diwali with his family in Greytown.

Govender read out the message that Olivier posted on Facebook, which said: “I am tired of this C***** Vaalie shit. F*** these bullshit C***** Vaalie, if the NSPCA does not sort this out, I will with some shit.”

Govender continued, saying the accused posted another message saying: “You target my house again, a warning is not a threat.”

He said the their celebration was within the time-frame that was specified and the cut off time was 9 pm. He said his family started letting off fireworks at 7.50 pm and finished at 8.25 pm.

Govender also told the court that he received a text message on his Whats­App that read: “I hope you are deaf now.” He alleged that the message came from a someone who lives with Olivier.

“I did not respond to this message, I switched off my phone,”Govender said, adding that he was alerted about the post on Facebook by his son the next day.

During the proceedings, the magistrate had to intervene often and asked Olivier to ask “relevant questions.”

Govender told the court that the accused has tried, on numerous occasions, to convince him to withdraw the case. The matter was adjourned until yesterday, October 22. The outcome of the case could not be obtained at the time of print deadline.

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