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Firm faces lawsuit over 'blacks are baboons' slur

By Corrinne Louw | May 20, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THERE'S been a twist in the case involving a Durban woman who has taken her boss to the Equality Court for hate speech.

Yesterday it emerged that 26-year-old Ayanda Dlamini, who works as a receptionist, has asked her lawyers to bring a lawsuit against a Durban luxury car dealership.

In February Dlamini took her boss Erich Tönsing of SMG Durban to the Equality Court.

He allegedly said she would "always be a baboon and that all black people are baboons".

According to Dlamini, Tönsing made the comments after she announced to her colleagues that she was going to graduate with a national diploma in human resources from the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

Dlamini is employed at SMG's repair centre and is still working there.

The case involving the hate speech will be heard again in the Equality Court on June 6.

Tönsing has denied Dlamini's allegations.

Now Dlamini says she has decided to bring the court action against SMG as a whole because she feels the company did not act responsibly when dealing with the hate speech matter.

"As a family we felt that we could not let this go.

"I have been helped by my brother with this case and we feel that SMG did not act responsibly in dealing with the matter."

Dlamini's lawyers, Garlicke and Bousfield, yesterday confirmed that Dlamini was considering a lawsuit.

"I was approached to institute proceedings in the high court." her attorney, Irvin Lawrence, said.

"We are considering taking court action as a result of the damages and injuries suffered.

"SMG had a responsibility to deal with the issue adequately. I have consulted with them, but have not instituted the action as yet," he said.

Sean McCarthy, managing director of the SMG Group, said he could not comment since he was not aware of "the matter".


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