Lawyer reacts to racist attack at Queens Plate
A Cape Town attorney has registered a case of crimen injuria against a woman who called him and his friends "k****s" during a public spat at the plush Queens Plate horse-racing event on Saturday.
Candidate attorney Yamkela Ntola recounted his experience with Nicole de Klerk, whom he alleged hurled racist slurs at them.
In the aftermath of the exchange, De Klerk was dismissed from a job she had landed just two days before.
She had also posted an apology on Twitter before closing her account, and attempts to contact her have been unsuccessful.
Speaking to News24, Ntola said he had been with a group of friends at the event when they were approached by a man wanting to use a chair.
"There was a gentleman who wanted to come and get a chair but we told him that he couldn't because one of the guys in our group was using it. Then he left and afterwards this Nicole girl came over and I assumed she was with him," he said.
"She was using a very rude tone and she asked me what was down my leg and I had no idea what she was talking about. I asked if she knew anyone in our group and she just kept saying that. I said it was best that she leave because she was making everyone feel uncomfortable."
The candidate attorney said things reached boiling point when De Klerk allegedly addressed a female member of his party directly and called her a "k*****".
"She started looking at one lady who was with us and called her a k*****. I asked her who she was calling k***** and then things became very heated and some of our group threw champagne on her.
"Security stepped in and she told the security she called us k*****s because that is what we are. I later explained to the organiser that this lady had come to us unprovoked and started causing nonsense. I heard afterwards that she had been escorted from the premises," he said.
Ntola added that he had on Sunday registered a criminal case of crimen injuria and would on Monday approach the Human Rights Commission.
"I am still angry and I am shocked at the same time. I am not beyond forgiving her but it does not mean that her conduct can go without consequence, especially considering the week that we have had," he said.
"I will pursue every avenue that is available to me. It doesn’t solve the problem that people harbour these feelings but I am not opposed to approaching her and letting her listen to me, as I will listen to her. The whole matter has left a sour taste in our mouths," he said.
A statement released by The Talent Boom’s official Twitter account discussed the action taken against De Klerk in the wake of the incident.
"The Talent Boom is shocked to hear what has happened on Saturday January 9 at the Queens Plate. Nicole started at The Talent Boom on Wednesday and has been employed with us for two days," they wrote.
"This behaviour is unacceptable and deeply upsetting. We do not condone or tolerate racist comments, behaviour or attitude in any form and with immediate effect, Nicole has been dismissed from the company."
De Klerk had also tweeted an apology which read: "I beyond sorry for this behaviour it is most certainly unacceptable and I am so embarrassed. [sic]"