A ‘racist’ incident at a blackjack table at the Time Square Casino, the second largest casino in South Africa, has led to a claim for damages. Picture: Jacques Naude
A ‘racist’ incident at a blackjack table at the Time Square Casino, the second largest casino in South Africa, has led to a claim for damages. Picture: Jacques Naude
Adeline Kaba
Adeline Kaba
Zelda Venter

An alleged racist incident at the Time Square casino in Menlyn during which tempers flared across the blackjack table, has ended in court. A Soshanguve woman claims she was verbally and physically assaulted by a fellow gambler - a “large white man”.

Adeline Mamti Kaba, 51, is claiming R502000 in damages from Time Square Ltd, which owns Sun Time Square Casino at Menlyn Maine in Pretoria. The basis of the damages claim is that the security at the casino apparently did nothing to come to her assistance.

Kaba said her fellow gambler told her: “I am going to f**k you up, you b*tch” and “I am going to flatten you.” Kaba said he then slapped her from his seat behind the blackjack table.

Instead of assisting her, casino security told her to “go back to Mamelodi”, she said, before they detained her against her will, allowing the “bully” to get away. This, she said, was despite her demands that they call the police.

Casino general manager Brett Hoppe confirmed the incident but said security immediately stepped in to defuse the situation. They had co-operated fully with police and officers had been at the casino to view the video footage, he said.

Kaba said CCTV footage and cameras inside the casino on the afternoon of June 27 will verify her ordeal. She did not know her attacker’s name - only identified in documents as Mr Roux - but she will be able to identify him, she said.

In her statement to police, she said she was at the casino between 1pm and 3pm, playing blackjack. Another patron arrived and sat at the end of the table.

A few minutes later someone else arrived and sat next to her. He started gambling in the box to her right; she continued to bet in her box. After the dealer had placed the final card in the box, the man on her left complained that the dealer had allowed the man on her right to call a card in his box.

She said a “large white male” at that stage complained that the box belonged to him and demanded she and the man sitting to her left move and take their chips with them.

Kaba said she and the man sitting to her left told the man that they had no intention of leaving their box and they would not be bullied, as they also had rights.

At this point the argument became very heated, and the “assaulter” told her in no uncertain terms to “shut up”, Kaba said.

Her lawyer, Greyling Erasmus, from the firm Gildenhuys Malatji Inc, wrote a lawyer’s letter to the casino, saying that despite the continued intimidation of his client, “a black defenceless woman, by the assaulter, there was absolutely no intervention, steps or even reproach towards the actions of the assaulter”.

Kaba said the next moment the man slapped her and she was left to defend herself. At this stage she threw her bottle of perfume at him. Only then did the security guards intervene, telling her to “go back to Mamelodi”, she said.

“I demanded they call the police and not let the guy go before the police arrived. They told me they will view the footage and investigate the matter.”

Kaba said she was interrogated in a separate room, while her “attacker” was allowed to go.

Erasmus told the casino owners in his letter of demand that his client said the incident “smacks of the Spur incident between a black woman and a white man”.

“What is in fact more inculpatory, if viewed against the Spur incident, is the fact that my client, despite extensive video footage, the dealer’s eye witnessing, the pitboss’s eye witnessing and numerous other witnesses, was clearly victimised and assessed as the wrongful party, despite being physically assaulted,” Erasmus said in the letter.

The casino staff and security had a duty to ensure his client was protected and safe at all times while in the casino, he said.

Kaba produced a doctor’s report, stating that she had suffered lacerations to the inside of her lip.

Erasmus confirmed that he was issuing summons against the casino yesterday for the payment of damages.

Hoppe said security was alerted to the incident and immediately separated the two patrons by removing them to the dispute room.

This was standard practice to get statements from both, he said.

The video footage was viewed and “the assailant” was escorted from the premises. The man up to that point refused to provide his details, but the security manager managed to obtain it.

Hoppe said the security duty manager also called the police.

“The SAPS indicated to the parties that this was a matter between two members of the public and that the complainant needed to open a criminal case.”

Kaba wanted the “attacker’s” personal details, but management said it would give it directly to the police, which it did.

The security duty manager phoned her the next day to find out how she was doing, as she said she was doing fine, Hoppe said.

“Having reviewed the detailed video and audio footage, as well as having considered the witness statements, the Sun International group is satisfied that it took reasonable and necessary steps required under the circumstances,” he said.

Hoppe said the group viewed any acts of violence as completely unacceptable.

Captain Colette Weilbach of the Brooklyn police confirmed that a case of assault had been opened.