‘I don’t care if I pee on a black man’
Cape Town - A teenage model and UCT student allegedly claimed he came from overseas, his father was rich, and that he didn’t “see anything wrong with urinating on the top of a black person” when he refused to apologise to a Khayelitsha taxi driver for allegedly urinating on his head from the balcony of a Claremont nightclub.
He also swore at the driver, Michelle Puis Nomgcana, and called him “stupid”, the driver said on Friday at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court where the teenager, Djavan Arrigone, 19, was supposed to appear to face charges of assault and crimen injuria.
Arrigone, a Boss Models SA model, first appeared in court in late January, and pleaded not guilty to the charges at a later appearance in July. On Friday his attorney, Ilse Taylor, told the court he was unable to appear because he had suffered a lacerated liver in a car accident.
The incident is among 10 recent “race-related” attacks in Cape Town suburbs highlighted by district prosecutor Nathan Johnson in the Wynberg court on Thursday. He was commenting during the case of a vicious assault on a gardener with a sjambok, allegedly by Jan van Tonder, a dentist employed by the SANDF.
At the court on Friday with witness security officer Nomzi Njengele, Nomgcana told Weekend Argus
he would keep on coming to court as he was determined to see justice done. Njengele, a controller for security company Securitas, responsible for security at the Stadium on Main centre, was on duty on the night of the alleged assault.
In a statement, Nomgcana, 41, described how, about 3.10am on Friday, January 24, he was standing under the balcony of the Tiger Tiger nightclub, in front of Stadium on Main in Claremont Main Road, waiting for potential passengers.
He was with fellow cab driver “Mr Shaun” when he felt “something like water” falling on his head.
He thought it was raining, but his companion told him that “there is a white guy urinating on me”.
“I stepped back and looked up at the Tiger Tiger balcony and I saw a white male… wearing a blue jeans shirt and black pants.”
Nomgcana said the young man continued to urinate.
He went upstairs to find out who the man was. At the top of the stairs, he met a bouncer and told him what had happened. The bouncer then took Nomgcana on to the balcony where he saw the young man.
Nomgcana said when he and the bouncer approached Arrigone and asked him why he had urinated on his head, “he didn’t answer, he ran away”.
They chased Arrigone and took him to the security office at Stadium on Main to question him.
“He told us, me and the securities (sic) that he is coming from overseas, his father and his family is rich, and he don’t see anything wrong to urinating on the top of the black person and he’s not going to apologise for that.
“He kept swearing at me telling me I am a f… and I am stupid. He told me that he was going to sue me because he has lawyers.”
Nomgcana, recalling the night of the incident on Friday, told Weekend Argus he shouted at Arrigone when he realised he was urinating on him.
“I screamed up at him, ‘what are you doing?’ He started to laugh. Then I ran up the escalators to Tiger Tiger and I called Pastor John, the bouncer who supervises the security at Tiger Tiger.
“While Pastor John was asking him why he did it, he started swearing. He said, ‘I don’t give a f… with a black man’.
“Then his friends came, about five or six of them, and they were very arrogant. They came inside and tried to pull him out of the security office. They were pushing at the door and kicking the door, saying they will sue us and that they would get us. But they could not manage because there were a lot of security people outside who stopped them.”
Nomgcana said Arrigone’s friends had then called his father, who subsequently arrived on the scene and allegedly told Nomgcana that he couldn’t “make a case against my son and get him arrested for this kind of case”.
Security controller Njengele told Weekend Argus on Friday that when she saw Nomgcana, he was “very wet” and told her “this man peed on me”.
“The boy kept saying to me, “I don’t care … where must I pee? I can pee anywhere I want to and I don’t care if it is on a black man’.
“He said to me, ‘how can I respect a black man? My family is rich. I don’t care about you’.”
She agreed that Arrigone’s friends had tried to force their way into the office, and that the teen’s father had later accused her of holding his son hostage.
“In my years of working in security, I have never seen anything like this. I can understand how this man would want to be cleansed and to have justice after someone urinated on him.”
Taylor presented a medical note from Groote Schuur Hospital saying Arrigone had been released on Thursday night, and would be indisposed for three days.
Magistrate Siviwe Yaki instructed Taylor to appear next Friday.
Asked to comment outside the court, Taylor said: “What is newsworthy about this matter? We went on an inspection in loco at (Arrigone’s) last appearance and it was clear from where he was standing that he was unable to see the person… on the pavement. I can just tell you… it is a complete waste of time.” – Additional reporting by Caryn Dolley