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Court orders Free State pub owner to pay R80, 000 for using K-word

19th May 2015

The South African Human Rights Commission (Commission) welcomes the Bloemfontein Equality Court judgment wherein Mr Patrick Prior, a pub and grill owner was ordered to pay R80 000 for calling Mr Gilbert Makanda, a Zimbabwean national and a lecturer at the Central University of Technology, using the k-word.

Mr Makanda complained to the Commission in August 2014 that actions by Mr Prior violated his constitutional right to Equality (the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000) when he used racial slur towards him. Mr Makanda had misguidedly went to a bathroom designated for female patrons as he could not read the signage written in Afrikaans

The Commission instituted the matter in the Equality Court on 6 March 2015. Judgment was delivered on 20 April 2015 after Mr Prior failed to appear in court.

The Commission is adamant that the judgment is in line with the objects of the Equality Act which provide remedies for victims of unfair discrimination, hate speech and harassment and persons whose right to equality has been infringed. The equality provision in section 9(3) of the Constitution includes a clear prohibition on discrimination based on race, ethnic or social origin and colour. The Complainant made an honest mistake by using toilets designated for female patrons at the Pub and Grill and the actions taken by Mr Patrick Prior were both extreme and discriminatory in nature.

Mr Prior was ordered by the court to make a written public apology to Mr Makanda. The apology should also be published by no later than 22 may 2015 on Bloemfontein based Newspapers publications in both English and Afrikaans.

Mr Prior Makanda will choose a charity organisation to donate the money.

ENDS
Isaac Mangena
Spokesperson
071 884 8273

For comments email info@sahrc.org.za [Back]



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