Tenant’s ‘old queen’ taunt sees her on trial for hate speech
Azizzar Mosupi | 2017-01-30 15:13:33.0
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock
“I have never‚ in all my existence‚ seen someone as hurtful or as angry as that.”
This was the testimony of Barry Hearn‚ a witness in a hate speech trial‚ sitting at Johannesburg’s Equality Court on Monday.
The case was a continuation of a trial which began last year‚ where Timothy Trengrove-Jones‚ of Gleneagles flats in Killarney‚ accused co-tenant Elvira Oelofse of hate speech.
During an argument in July 2016 involving the installation of nets over plumbing ducts at the flats ‚ Trengrove-Jones‚ who is gay‚ alleged that Oelofse called him a “f****** old queen”.
The nets were being installed to stop pigeons from settling in ducts but Oelofse feared the birds would be harmed and got into an altercation with workmen‚ warning them that she knew Japanese martial arts.
Oelofse and Trengrove-Jones then started arguing and he was referred to as being “common” and “disgusting” in addition to a “old queen”.
During cross-examination‚ Hearn testified‚ “what I witnessed that day was a woman who was being rude‚ insulting and causing chaos.”
Since then‚ he added‚ he had taken to locking a gate during the day leading to a communal refuse area because he did not want to encounter Oelofse or her husband.
Previously the court heard Trengrove-Jones testify that the insult “was based on my identity as a gay male (and) aimed to mock me on the basis of my sexuality”.
“She caused me personal trauma and distress‚ which I believe was her intention.”
Trengrove-Jones is seeking an apology and R50‚000 in damages.
The case continues.