Paralympian swimmer, Hendri Herbst, has won his three-year long discrimination case against local winery, Durbanville Hills Wine Estate.
The wine farm agreed to issue a formal public apology, admitting their discrimination against Herbst, who was originally refused entry to the wine farm’s restaurant because he had his guide dog with him.
On top of this, a settlement agreement was ordered by the Equality Court last week Friday, that Durbanville Hills will pay R50 000 to the South African Guide-Dogs Association as well as an additional R50 000 to Herbst to compensate him for the ordeal.
Herbst expressed his surprise on the outcomes of the case.
“I was shocked by the outcome because, throughout the entire legal process, they held firm that there was no discrimination. We were happy to go to court to establish legal precedent, so we were caught off guard when they approached us with a settlement proposal.” Herbst told News24
Herbst also stated that the case was never about the money or receiving any compensation, it was about the discrimination and wrong-doings of the estate as well as raising awareness for the rights of the disabled and their guide dogs.
The Paralympian says he hopes that because of his case, establishments will take the initiative to train and educate employees with regards to the rights of guide dogs and those using them, more seriously.
The wine estate has since issued their apology on their Facebook page, stating that they have taken steps to ensure all staff employed will take part in sensitivity training from the Guide Dog Association of South Africa.
Many see the Herbst case as a victory for the blind and disabled alike. The case has definitely raised awareness for the rights of the disabled and made establishments more aware of the need for staff to be properly trained for similar situations.