Crime against women and children is an on-going crisis in South Africa. Over the past two weeks, news headlines have been inundated with children who have gone missing, only to be found dead days later. The cases of Tazne Van Wyk and Sibusiso Dakuse have brought the nation to its knees.
Acts of Gender-Based Violence ranging from inappropriate touching, sexual harassment, rape and murder are an everyday occurrence. Women, however, are incrementally taking action and calling out their perpetrators. Gone are the days of keeping the identity of an assailant anonymous.
Over the weekend, Sarah-Belgarion Van Niekerk shared security footage of an incident that took place while she was working. Van Niekerk, a waitress, was talking to a customer when a male patron proceeded to non-consensually and inappropriately touch her. Van Niekerk quickly turned to the patron and confront him. Again he grabbed her hand and continuously tried to touch her. His friend intervened and pulled his hand away from her. Van Niekerk then walked away. Throughout the ordeal, the patron is smiling and laughing.
Van Niekerk took to social media to share the incident, where she wrote: “It BREAKS my heart! I’ve watched it over and and over again…feeling more like trash each time. Men of South Africa this is happens on regular basis…what are YOU going to do about it ? If you see your mate doing this CALL THEM OUT! DON’T wait for them to get physical with women to call them out. Men of SOUTH AFRICA stop touching us inappropriately!”
The patron is a known Cape Town model. His professional contract with top South African modelling agency Boss Models has since been terminated.
In a two-part statement released yesterday, Boss Models South Africa confirmed his contract had been terminated, with immediate effect. The company also said: “Boss Models South Africa prides itself on it’s progressive agenda to help transform the fashion industry into a just and equitable space. Our aim is to provide a safe environment for women to feel comfortable and at no time objectified. All situations arising which contravene this goal are dealt with swiftly and with resolve.”
The video has been viewed 84 917 times on Instagram and 3 000 times on Facebook. The story has been commented on and shared globally across various social media platforms. Comments of support and condemnation of his behaviour have poured in for Van Niekerk. Women and those men who are not part of the problem have had enough. Behaviour like this is no longer tolerable.
Watch the video below:
View this post on Instagram
So on Friday night I was at work( I am currently a waitress)… and I happened to be serving this man Reyn Du Preez @reyndupreez and this happened. The video says it all, leaving me with little to add. . YOU ARE EXPOSED! And caught in the act! . It BREAKS my heart! I’ve watched it over and over again…feeling more like trash each time. Men of South Africa this is happens on regular basis…what are YOU going to do about it ? If you see your mate doing this CALL THEM OUT!, DON’T wait for them to get physical with women to call them out. Men of SOUTH AFRICA stop touching us inappropriately! . . To Reyn Du Preez’s friends, I thank you for stopping your friend when he continued to insult and humiliate me after touching me inappropriately🙏🏻, I only hope that more can be done next time.
Since the incident the model involved posted an apology to his Instagram saying he is sorry for his actions.
Cape Town Etc reached out to both parties and did not receive comment at time of publication.
Image: Screenshot from video