Nanny tells of fear after K-word insult

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IOL  van Deventer file DONE CAPE ARGUS Andr� van Deventer outside court. Photo: Henk Kruger

Cape Town - A domestic worker who took her employer’s partner to court for calling her the K-word and spitting at her has been asked to describe how her dignity was affected.

Gloria Kente, 50, took the stand in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. She was employed as a live-in nanny by André van Deventer’s girlfriend Mariechen Pienaar in Table View for nine years.

Van Deventer is alleged to have assaulted Kente in June last year after he spat on her and called her the “K-word” during a confrontation.

He faces charges of common assault and crimen injuria.

Kente has also applied to the Equality Court in Cape Town for R100 000 in damages and an unconditional apology from Van Deventer.

On Wednesday, Henry van der Westhuizen, for Van Deventer, asked Kente why she had not phoned police on the night of the incident.

“On the night of the incident you said you were afraid and didn’t go to the police station. Why did you not call the police?”

Van der Westhuizen suggested Kente had waited 24 hours before calling the police because her entire allegation was a fabrication.

Kente replied: “I was scared and wasn’t in the state to call the police.”

Van der Westhuizen also wanted to know why she could have experienced a sore neck and headache from being grabbed by the pyjamas.

Kente said: “I can’t say why - that’s the experience I had.”

Van der Westhuizen said the court had heard no evidence and seen no medical records to prove the assault.

“After the incident you didn’t see any psychologists or mental health practitioners. Why now?”

Kente said she was continually reliving the experience, which had prompted her to seek medical help.

Asked how her dignity had been affected by the use of the K-word, Kente replied: “I’m a black person and since the democracy of South Africa the K-word was made away with.”

Prosecutor Andy Hess asked why Kente would make up the assault and insult when Van Deventer had already pleaded guilty to using the term.

“The accused has pleaded guilty, he said he called you a k*****. He said, ‘You k****** throw poo at the airport and don’t pay taxes.’

“Why would you lie about the assault if you are telling the truth about the k*****?”

The trial was postponed to October 2.

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Cape Argus

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