'You have nothing but your black ass' - Domestic worker relates alleged abuse by boss
A domestic worker has laid a charge of assault against her former employer after he allegedly repeatedly beat her in front of her four-year-old daughter last year.
Kobus de Klerk‚ 47‚ is on trial in the Randburg Magistrate's Court‚ where he faces a charge of assault for allegedly attacking his employee Siyamthanda Dube. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
De Klerk's case comes as former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana is alleged to have assaulted his former domestic worker Catherine Wiro.
According to Dube's statement‚ on November 28‚ 2017‚ she was at her workplace in Randpark Ridge with her daughter‚ whom she had discovered was sick during the day.
"She was shaking‚ vomiting and had fever chills. I wanted to take my daughter to the clinic‚ but Tamara's [De Klerk's wife] kids would be home by 9am to 9:30am from their exams and I knew I had to be at work when they got home‚" Dube said.
She said she then took her daughter to the pharmacy‚ but was told to take her to the clinic as she was "quite" sick.
"I could not go. The chemist said to then wait for the nurse to come to the pharmacy so she could examine [the daughter]‚" Dube said.
While waiting at the pharmacy‚ Dube said she received numerous calls from her employer's wife. However‚ she could not answer her phone as the screen was broken‚ she said.
"She called 4-5 times‚ so I just picked up my child and rushed home. By then it was 9:15am. When I got back to work‚ I went straight inside. I could see that Kobus was very angry that I had left‚ and right away I started apologising.
"He said: 'Where were you?' I said‚ 'I'm so sorry‚ boss‚ I know I left without your permission but my child was sick‚' and I explained to him what happened.
He said‚ 'I don't care‚ I don't give a shit about your child. I employ you to come and take care of my kids. You are putting them in danger."
Dube said she kept apologising but De Klerk was fuming with anger and he started poking her forehead.
"He said‚ 'What are you going to do? Are you going to run to the police and say that the big white man hit me?'
I said‚ 'Even if I don't go to the police‚ you don't have the right to treat me like this.'
"Then he said‚ 'What are you going to do? You've got nothing but your black ass.'
"When I saw that he was so angry‚ I became frightened and I started to apologise again. He went off to the study for not even a minute. He came back and loosened his tie around his neck ... Then he started to push me with his two hands against my chest‚ saying‚ 'You are so arrogant‚ you are a domkop.'"
According to Dube's statement‚ De Klerk started punching her but she blocked the blows with her arms.
"Then he pushed me again. This was the fourth time he pushed me ... I fell onto my back on the step. I don't know what happened then‚ if I collapsed or I fainted‚" the statement reads.
After the incident‚ Dube said she texted a friend and asked her to call the police or complex security.
When the security guards arrived‚ Dube said her former boss apologised and asked her not to lay a criminal charge against him.
When she refused to heed his request‚ Dube said De Klerk placed a R200 note in her purse. He also bought her two children take-aways and gave the eldest R100.
De Klerk's counsel accused Dube of changing her story as she went along. He dismissed Dube's claim that her daughter was sick.
"If your daughter was sick‚ you would have woken him up and he would have taken the child to the hospital‚" De Klerk's lawyer Advocate Nel said.
He said De Klerk had gone to look for her and found clothes strewn on the bed.
"You had slept out the previous night. You did not sleep in the house‚" the lawyer said.
Dube denied the allegation. The case continues.