Public‚ media barred from attending Equality Court faeces case
In an unprecedented move‚ a magistrate sitting at the Equality Court in Springs on the East Rand on Monday barred the public and the media from covering the case of a man who was allegedly forced to eat faeces and racially abused by his employer.
Pavani Lazarus asked the reporters attending the case to leave the courtroom as they had not sought permission from her to cover the case.
She said reporters should make an application in writing for her consideration.
Her refusal to allow the public to be present is in contrast to the situation where courtrooms in this country are open to the public.
It is only in a few instances when proceedings are held in camera. These include cases where children testify.
Joseph Mona was allegedly called a “useless k****r” by his employer‚ Harry Leicester‚ in December last year after he failed to switch on the engine of a septic tank pump machine.
Mona is demanding an unconditional public apology from Leicester‚ his wife Maria Leicester and their son Chris for what they allegedly did to him. He is also demanding R100‚000 in damages for the hurt that was inflicted on him.
Chris allegedly held his hands and dragged Mona towards the sewer hole. The farmer took a big jug‚ dipped it in the sewer hole and forced him to drink its contents while calling him a “k****r”.
At the beginning of the trial‚ Jackson Mzila‚ representing the complainant on behalf of the South African Human Rights Commission‚ said Harry had referred to Mona as a “useless k****r‚” while his wife said “k****r must die” and his son asked: “K****r are you still alive?”
The family’s legal representative said Mona had brought a vexatious and false complaint before court.
“It is submitted that we will attempt to prove that there is no prima facie case. At the end of the applicant’s case‚ we will ask for absolution from the instance‚” the family’s lawyer said.
The trial continues behind closed doors.
The three are also facing criminal charges of attempted murder and kidnapping relating to the same incident. That case was postponed till June 4 for further investigation.