Model should be jailed for racist comments, urinating on me - taxi driver

2016-09-30 16:56
Djavan Arrigone (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Djavan Arrigone (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Former taxi driver Michelle Nomgcana says international model Djavan Arrigone should have been sentenced to jail for urinating on him outside a Claremont club two years ago.

"The system should have made an example of him. His racist behaviour does not belong here over 20 years into democracy," the now unemployed businessman said outside the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

"I am not happy with his sentence. He wasn't sorry for what he did."

Two years ago the intoxicated UCT student relieved himself from the balcony of Tiger Tiger. Nomgcana had been standing on the ground floor.

When he asked Arrigone why he had done it he laughed and continued to urinate.

The two then had a confrontation, where Arrigone told Nomgcana that he was a "black person and stupid". He refused to apologise.

Arrigone, 21, was convicted of assault and crimen injuria in December and on Friday received a three-year prison sentence, suspended for five years. He has to complete 200 hours of community service at the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro).

His lawyer indicated he would be appealing the conviction.

Imprisonment not suitable

Magistrate Siviwe Yaki said the incident was disturbing, especially considering that Arrigone was a born in a democratic South Africa.

She described the incident as racially motivated, disgusting and inhumane.

During sentencing proceedings, Yaki said she did not think that imprisonment was a suitable punishment for Arrigone.

She also decided against a fine, saying Arrigone could not afford to pay one on his income as a maths tutor. He relies on his father financially after Boss Models ended his contract following the incident.

As an international model, he had earned a salary of R40 000.

Arrigone previously told the court he attempted suicide following the social media and press attention the incident had drawn.

Bad luck

He had seen a psychologist, but could no longer afford it.

Yaki said she hoped the negative publicity had been a lesson to him.

Nomgcana said the humiliation of being urinated on was not the worst part of his ordeal.

"In my culture, it is considered bad luck for someone to urinate on you. I need a cleansing ceremony and the cheapest sangoma to do this charges R150 000," he pointed out.

"Because of him, I lost my business. I had been working in that area for 15 years without any incident. But after what happened the other taxi drivers didn't want me at the rank."

Nomgcana, from Khayelitsha, had been working as a taxi driver in Claremont for 15 years at the time of the incident.

'He must learn a lesson'

"I had never had a bad experience with any white person before this. I have driven international tourists, clubbers and people like former Springbok captain John Smit and rugby player Bryan Habana. I am a nice guy, they liked me." 

He refused to accept Arrigone's apology during court proceedings, as he felt it was insincere.

"At the time, he and his father said there was nothing wrong with what he did. Yes, there was. They humiliated me and brought bad luck on me.

"They don't want to compensate me. They say they don't have money. Well, then I hope God will bless them with something then." 

The case is also being heard in the Equality Court and Arrigone is expected to appear on October 26.

"This is serious. He must learn a lesson. He should be sent to do his service in a black area where he can learn how to live with black people."


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