A Caxton-owned local newspaper in Mpumalanga has called for actions to†be taken against a traffic officer who said a white motorist hit by a†black road painter deserved it on social media.
The Middelburg Observer described Jean-Luc Devoldere, who passers-by†said undermined the workers while they were busy doing the road markings,†as somebody who is an ‘assault victim’ after the incident and said the†traffic officer became “openly biased” towards what befell Devolder†at a Middelburg town intersection.
Devoldere had forced his white bakkie into the white line which the†workers were busy marking in Beyers Naude and Meyer Street†intersection and was confronted by one angered municipal road painter†in the full daylight view of on-lookers after he drove over a wet†mark.
The Middelburg Observer on Friday charged that Devoldere “accidentally†drove over the wet paint and hit a traffic cone, spurring the painter†to first hit his bakkie with his paint rod, after which the painter†slapped Mr Devoldere in the face when he stopped”.
“The painter continued to assault Mr Devoldere in the presence of a†traffic officer. When tensions died down, and Mr Devoldere got into†his bakkie to drive away, the painter picked up a fistful of dirt and†flung it at Mr Devoldere through his open window,” the paper said.
Later, another traffic cop, a Mr Kgaugele Mashele, saw the video of†the whole incident on Observer’s Facebook page and, “was the first to†comment,” the paper said, “condoning the violence, saying Devoldere†deserved to be assaulted and then referred to him as a pig,” the paper†said.
He referred to “a Middelburg Observer reader” as a fat pink pig on†Facebook, the paper said.
“A reader reacted with ‘f** you’, to which warden Mashego replied,†’lol, thank you, you fat pink pig’,” the paper said.
Municipal officials said disciplinary actions will not be taken†against Mashele because the Steve Tshwete local municpality does not†have a policy prohibiting their workers from saying things on Facebook†and “since the remarks were made in a personal capacity”.
“I personally believe the insults were wrong and would advise those on†the reserving end to pertition the Equality Court and Public†Protector’s office for further assistance in the matter,” acting†municipal manager Mandla Mnguni told the paper.
A few reacting Middelburg Observer readers commented on the story -†titled “No action after ‘fat pink pig’ insult” and shared by the paper†on its Facebook page, with a Billy du Plessis, in an overtly racist†reference to the road marker, saying: “A sad black pig. Shame the poor†thing. May it get slaughtered soon”.
(edited by MM)
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