Cape Town man guilty of assaulting domestic worker

2014-11-28 11:38

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Cape Town - A Cape Town salesman was found guilty on Friday of assaulting his ex-girlfriend's domestic worker last year and spitting in her face.

The Cape Town Magistrate's Court ruled that 36-year-old Andre van Deventer's version of what took place during an argument with Gloria Kente was highly improbable.

Magistrate Alta le Roux said in Afrikaans that the State had proved the charge of common assault beyond a reasonable doubt.

Short temper

She said it was clear he had a short temper and felt nothing of showing how he felt in a physical way.

It was also strange that he could remember only certain aspects of what had happened, citing a hazy memory at times.

Van Deventer, wearing jeans and a top, rested his arms on the dock and nervously twiddled his fingers.

Kente previously testified that Van Deventer assaulted and swore at her at the Table View home of her employer Mariechin Pienaar last June.

She told the court he grabbed her pyjamas, verbally assaulted her and spat in her face.

He admitted to the crimen injuria charge but denied assaulting her.

Last month, he admitted on the stand that calling Kente a "kaffir" was unnecessary, but said he had been fuelled by anger.

At the time, he said he was very angry when Kente interrupted him while he was drinking beer and trying to connect an electronic device to a television.

He said he used the racial insult to describe her during an argument with his ex-girlfriend. The intention had not been for Kente to hear him, even though he was screaming in the bedroom.

Kente heard him, they started arguing in the corridor, and he insulted her again, this time to her face.

Stiff neck

Afterwards, Kente reported having a stiff neck.

Le Roux said two questions came to mind when hearing the evidence: why would Kente open a case against Van Deventer if they had such a good relationship, and what would she gain by falsely implicating him?

The magistrate believed the injury of a stiff neck was in line with someone trying to pull back from an assault.

If Kente had made up the incident, it would have been easy for her to claim far more dramatic injuries than just a stiff neck, Le Roux said.

Separate case

The Cape Town Equality Court, in a separate case involving the same incident, ruled on 24 October that Van Deventer pay Kente R50 000 in compensation.

Once Le Roux had handed down her judgment, prosecutor Andy Hess handed up Van Deventer's criminal record for the purpose of sentencing.

The court heard that he had paid a R150 admission of guilt fine for a previous assault charge in November 2008.

"I will make a request to the court that we postpone this matter for the complainant [Kente] to testify in aggravation of the sentence and also for the correctional office's report," Le Roux said.

The State has proposed that Van Deventer receive correctional supervision instead of a jail term.

The court will finalise sentencing on 12 December.

Read more on:    cape town  |  racism  |  crime

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