Nicole Govender: K-word rant in court

March 28, 2019. Nicole Govender who called salone owner Constance Mthanti by a k-word. Picture: INSTAGRAM

#KwaZuluNatal: An impatient manicure client, who allegedly called a KwaZulu-Natal south coast beauty parlour owner the k-word, appeared in the Scottburgh Equality Court on Tuesday.

The matter against Nicole Govender, 25, was postponed to May 7 for further particulars.

Less than a week ago, Govender of Park Rynie appeared in Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court on a charge of crimen injuria for allegedly referring to Constance Mthandi as a “k…..”.

Mthandi had separately approached the Equality Court to order Govender to issue a public apology via the local newspaper and pay R50,000 in damages to her.

According to Mthandi, Govender was a one-time client at her Style Caster Beauty Spa and Salon in 2016.

Last November, Mthandi received a WhatsApp message from Govender’s cell phone number asking for an appointment for two people to have their nails done.

The message was sent at 6:21am on November 1.

When Mthandi switched on her Wi-Fi almost two hours later she was “shocked” by the messages.

“Whenever we try and contact u there seems to be a problem because u don’t respond but u read the messages.”

“Do you only respond to white clients and black clients?” were some of the messages.

Govender allegedly threatened to expose Mthandi’s “attitude” on social media before saying: “Do you think ur perfect ten? to have such an attitude. U will fall (k-word).”

Whatsapp message to manicurist
The WhatsApp messages sent to Constance Mthandi.
The WhatsApp messages sent to Constance Mthandi. 
Image: Supplied

Mthandi told the Sunday Times that she cried when she saw the derogatory word.

“I felt angry and sad. I was never called this word before and had never experienced racism before. I didn’t know how to react.”

She went to the Scottburgh police station on the same day and later lodged a hate speech complaint at the Equality Court.

In her affidavit before the Equality Court, Mthandi said Govender had failed to afford her the “necessary respect” that she deserved “and went on further to insult me”.

“The language used is very offensive and as a South African citizen, the respondent ought to have known or knew the impact the use of such words would have on a black South African.”

Govender claims it was not her sending the messages

In her opposing affidavit, Govender claimed that the WhatsApp messages were sent through “a fake identity posing to be me”.

She said she had used the Telkom Mobile number from June 2015 to July 2017 before it became inactive as she owed the network provider more than R2,000.

She claimed that the SIM card with the new number that she used until December last year was in a phone that was in the ocean.

“I unfortunately took the phone into the ocean when I suffered a traumatic stress ordeal where I attempted to commit suicide due to the false accusations relating to this case.”

“I submit that I did have a WhatsApp account on this number and that was my only number, account and profile in the past year,” she said.

Maintaining that the messages were sent from a fake social media account, Govender attached to her responding affidavit print-outs from tech websites explaining how one could use a WhatsApp without a cellphone number.

Govender claimed that she was forced to resign from her job as a trainee accountant in Durban as her employer was unhappy with her taking time off from work for the matter.

In her replying affidavit, Mthandi said it was not for her to prove that Govender typed or sent the messages herself.

“More so since the respondent has not proven that the account was in fact fake and that there are other persons who have access to her account. The respondent is responsible or accountable for any activities that happen on her account and it is for her to take action should it come to her attention that the account has been accessed by any other person,” she said.  

Source: Nivashni Nair-Sukhdev – via TimesLIVE


About Naufal Khan

Publisher & editor of Indian Spice.

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