Bail hearing in Gobabis 'racial' case continues

13 Jun 2013 08:30
GOBABIS, 13 JUN (NAMPA) - The complainant in the Gobabis racism case has charged that the incident at Buffalo?s Bar over two weeks ago was not the first act of racism against him at the hands of bar owner Niko Kotze.
Levi Katire claimed in a statement to the Namibian Police which was read out in court on the second day of the bail hearing on Wednesday that he had an encounter during 2011 with Kotze at the now- defunct Big Five bar, where the accused had also uttered racism remarks towards him.
?I was sitting at a bar counter, enjoying a drink when Kotze entered the bar. I soon left to go to the toilet. After I returned, I found Kotze seated at the place where I was seated, with my drink right in front of him,? Katire stated.
He allegedly asked Kotze to excuse him as he wanted to continue with his drink from the same place. After that failed, Katire decided to sit at the next spot, and continued with his drink.
At that point, Kotze allegedly told him ?This is my brother?s bar. Why don?t you go to Epako? Does Epako not have such places??
The prosecution, led by Gobabis control prosecutor Johan Pienaar, argued that the Buffalo?s bar attack was triggered by the earlier encounter at Big Five.
Pienaar, while cross-examining Kotze, further asserted that the signs on Buffalo?s Bar revealing that the bar was a private club only open to members, were not clear and could easily be missed.
According to Pienaar, the sign?s wording is difficult to make out at night as the light around it was insufficient.
Kotze, however, countered that the signs were sufficient enough for any person to see them from a distance - even at night.
It emerged that Buffalo?s Bar has a membership of about 85 people, all of whom are white.
Kotze acknowledged that the club does not have a single black member, as a black person never applied for membership to the club.
When asked by Pienaar if he had any black friends whom he could invite into the club as per the club?s membership criteria, Kotze noted that he had once invited Gobabis Municipality Chief Executive Officer, Efraim Dawids to the club.
Dawids was, however, denied entry to the bar on his second visit after he allegedly overstepped club rules by turning up at his own discretion, Kotze testified.
The bail hearing continues.
(NAMPA)
CT/AS/TK