TROL­LIP

‘I look for­ward to de­fend­ing my­self with facts against th­ese clearly po­lit­i­cally or­ches­trated charges’

CityPress - - News - LUBA­BALO NGCUKANA luba­balo.ngcukana@city­press.co.za

Athol Trol­lip stren­u­ously de­nies the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against him and his fam­ily, and vows to fight the ac­cu­sa­tions in court. Trol­lip, the DA fed­eral chair­per­son and the party’s may­oral can­di­date for the Nelson Man­dela Bay Metro, said on Fri­day that he had not been in­formed of the com­plaint to the SA Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion.

“I there­fore can­not re­spond to some­thing I have no per­sonal knowl­edge of. Se­condly, I am the only re­main­ing mem­ber of the so-called Trol­lip fam­ily, so the om­nibus charges that are un­prece­dented are in ef­fect against me.

“I look for­ward to de­fend­ing my­self and my fam­ily’s rep­u­ta­tion with facts against th­ese clearly po­lit­i­cally or­ches­trated charges.”

Trol­lip said he did not know Zi­bele James Mx­aku and Senzi Nt­send­wana, but knew some of his ac­cusers.

“They are peo­ple I grew up with. They are peo­ple who loved me and who I loved. Peo­ple who re­spected me and I re­spected them,” he said.

He said he was sur­prised by the claims be­cause he grew up in a fam­ily that re­spected all peo­ple.

“As far as mal­treat­ment and hu­man rights abuses are con­cerned, I think who­ever sent you and your editor to me is mak­ing a mis­take be­cause my fam­ily had a proud tra­di­tion in the com­mu­nity where we come from of treat­ing peo­ple fairly.

“So, they must bring it on. Let’s go to the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion. I know who I am. I know where I come from.”

Trol­lip in­sisted this was a smear cam­paign or­ches­trated by his political op­po­nents.

“In pol­i­tics, all you have to do is throw mud and hope some of it sticks. You don’t even have to take it to court,” he said, adding in isiXhosa: “Mabag­ibisele ndiyaba­funa [They must throw. I am ready for them].”

When asked if he was a racist, he said: “Don’t ask me that ques­tion. It’s of­fen­sive. I know who I am. I have a rep­u­ta­tion.”

Re­gard­ing David Kota’s al­le­ga­tions, Trol­lip said: “I know David Kota very well. He was my right- hand man. He worked for my father be­fore that. I dis­pute 100% the fact that he earned R200 a month. I have all the fig­ures. I have them on my wage reg­is­ters and my wage book.

“In his state­ment, he said he never got any­thing when he left. Now he says I gave him R15 000, which is dif­fer­ent from what he says in his state­ment. I am go­ing to con­test all those things in court.

“I have got my wage book. I have got all the records, in fact, of the prov­i­dent fund and con­tri­bu­tions that I paid per­son­ally. I have all those records,” he said.

When asked whether he would show City Press the records, Trol­lip said: “Ab­so­lutely not. I am go­ing to court.”

Re­gard­ing al­le­ga­tions by Regina Ntabeni that he once called her a ba­boon, he said: “Look, I read those state­ments, mate. “You sat in my house and I told you I re­fute those state­ments. I re­fute Regina Ntabeni’s state­ment. She and her hus­band worked for a neigh­bour­ing farm and came to us, and then went to an­other farm that we owned. When I sold that farm, they came back to work for me and my father,” he said. “Then my father left the farm af­ter I sold it, some two years later. Mr Ntabeni went to work for my father in Bed­ford in town again. Would they have kept com­ing back to work for us in var­i­ous work sit­u­a­tions if we treated them badly? The an­swer is no.”

Trol­lip in­sisted that he had ev­i­dence to dis­prove all the al­le­ga­tions, and that be­fore the min­i­mum wage be­come ap­pli­ca­ble in the early 2000s, his work­ers were paid “way more” than the min­i­mum wage.

When asked how much his staff were paid or if there was a stan­dard rate he paid them, Trol­lip said: “I am go­ing to court. I am not go­ing to write my de­fence in your news­pa­per.”

SA Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion spokesper­son Isaac Man­gena con­firmed that a com­plaint against the Trol­lips was lodged on Wed­nes­day.

“I can con­firm that we have re­ceived a com­plaint con­sist­ing of var­i­ous af­fi­davits where al­le­ga­tions of un­fair labour prac­tice, min­i­mal wages and hate speech were pro­vided. The com­mis­sion would need to pe­ruse the af­fi­davits and as­sess same be­fore go­ing for­ward,” he said.

‘THEY CALLED ME A MON­KEY’

Vusumzi David Kota

PHO­TOS: LEON SADIKI

‘CHASED LIKE A DOG’ Zi­bele James Mx­aku is one of many of the Trol­lip farm’s for­mer work­ers

’I WAS CALLED A BA­BOON’

Regina and Timi Ntabeni

SMEAR CAM­PAIGN

Athol Trol­lip

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