Woman lays charge against executive after unprovoked 'you people' rant at airport

2019-06-01 17:19

A Cape Town family allegedly harassed by a "drunk" executive from a well-known audit firm has opened a criminal case after capturing his extensive rant on video.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana on Saturday confirmed a crimen injuria case had been opened for investigation. News24 has not identified the man owing to the pending criminal charge. He will be identified once he has appeared in court.

Bulelani Ngcauzele told News24 she and her family had gone to see off her stepfather at Cape Town International Airport on Thursday and had been at the ticket sales counter sorting out a booking issue.

"My mom had been standing behind us with his trolley and luggage. This man came up to her with his suitcase and ticket in hand [without reason to be at the counter] and started going off about how fucked up the country is because of 'you people'," Ngcauzele said.

"She was very calm about it and told him to leave her alone, but he continued to harass her. He thought she was on her own, but my brother was making a video of what was happening."

Ngcauzele said she intervened when the man charged at her brother wanting to take his cellphone.

"He was nasty and ridiculous. He told us that all he wanted to do was 'help you people' and how he had invested R150m into this country. He was going on about how he ploughed into SA and that 'these people' were not fit to lead."

What further upset her was that while the man went on his tirade, airport security watched the altercation without intervening. This despite her asking for help, Ngcauzele said.

Eventually a staff member from the airline her father was to fly with came to check on him and saw the unfolding commotion. He then phoned the police.

"[The man] went toward the bathroom as if he was running away, then headed toward the boarding gates. The police followed him and when he tried to board the officers told him they were aware that there had been an incident," Ngcauzele said.

When asked how they wanted to approach the matter, Ngcauzele’s mother told police she wanted to open a criminal case.

"When she told the police what had happened and asked [the man] whether he agreed that this was what he had said, he confirmed that she was correct. 'I only wanted to help you people', he said."

The man was taken to the police station, but by the time that the Ngcauzeles arrived, he had already been released.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) spokesperson Deborah Francis said the incident was by all means "concerning and unacceptable".

"An investigation will be initiated as it relates to this incident. It is standard procedure by all staff at the airport to contact the South African Police Services in the event of any incidents such as this or any other untoward activity that may impact airport user/s." 

Should any airport user feel uncomfortable or threatened by any individual or situation at the airport, they should contact any ACSA staff and they will ensure that the police is contacted immediately, she added.

*This story has been updated on Sunday to reflect ACSA comment.

Read more on:    cape town  |  racism
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