SAHRC to probe 2nd toilet racism claim

2014-11-12 09:48

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission on Wednesday said it was not aware of another toilet segregation allegation at an animal clinic in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo.

"We are not aware of this allegation, but we will look into it," SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena told Sapa.

"We will visit and see. Yes we will send investigators to that place."

Mangena was commenting after the Sowetan reported that the Blouberg Animal Clinic had separate toilets for white and black people.

The clinic is located in the same area as the Vleissentraal office block, which came under fire last week after reported claims of segregated toilets emerged.

Three sources at the animal clinic told the newspaper it had four toilets - one for black staffers and black customers, and three for white staff and white customers.

A Sowetan journalist used the toilet reserved for black people and found it was located outside and behind the main building, while the toilets for whites were inside the building.

SAHRC: Allegations true

Veterinarian Freddie Harris, who co-owns the clinic, declined a request from the newspaper to comment.

Last week, the same newspaper reported that the Vleissentraal office block in Louis Trichardt allocated toilets according to race groups.

The SAHRC subsequently told Sapa it had sent investigators to the building and found that the allegations were true.

It launched an investigation, and warned that it would resort to approaching the Equality Court if it did not get co-operation from the building's owner Bennie van der Merwe.

Last week Wednesday, Van der Merwe opened a case of defamation against the Sowetan newspaper over the article.

Van der Merwe denied the racism allegations to Sapa and said the newspaper was defaming its name.

"The allegations are not true. The newspaper didn't even consult us. They didn't phone us for comment," he said.

He also took issue with its "whites only" headline.

Threatening text messages

Van der Merwe said another case of intimidation was also opened with the police, after the building's manager received threatening text messages.

"We received threatening SMSes from an EFF member who threatened to burn our building, but the EFF claims it's not from them," he said at the time.

Mangena, meanwhile, said the commission would be meeting with Van der Merwe later on Wednesday.

"He will be coming to our offices in Polokwane today. This meeting will form part of our investigation."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  racism
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.