Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Police probe launched after Berry Heart racially abused

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, a far cry and understatement like the wrath that local artist Berry Heart lay on the man that allegedly crossed her path on her recent vacation to probably one of the best tourist destinations in Botswana, Kasane.

A global pandemic, racism that has cost a lot more lives than the deadliest diseases ever to hit mankind reared its ugly head at the Thebe River Safari Lodge on that particular evening where Ms Heart and her friends were said to be dining as part of their holiday expedition.

Upon arrival Ms Heart claims that they did not feel welcome citing that they were not allowed to run a tab and were told that they would have to make single purchases for whatever they needed over the counter. According to Ms Heart, it came as a surprise to them since every other customer had waiters and waitresses attending to their every whim. They decided to let that slide and proceeded to enjoy an evening out.

“Out of nowhere there was a loud smash on the pillar adjacent to the table we were occupying and we were splashed with liquor and pieces of bottles. To our dismay the gentleman who had thrown the bottle ignored them when they asked him what prompted this attack,” explains Ms Heart. The series of events that occurred was like a scene from and American blockbuster movie, melodrama.

The ladies allegedly approached the management to inquire further but they equally ignored. Ms Heart explained to Lifestyle that this is when they approached the alleged perpetrator who was later identified as Allan, a middle aged Caucasian man who replied saying: “Ba yaka mabelete a ithekisang ke tla le bolaya,” which literally translates to ‘These women of questionable morals are lying, they are selling themselves and I will kill them.’ To add insult to injury he allegedly added that because of his skin colour, he would kill them and get away with it even if they called the police whom he alleged are his pals.

After these threats and insults Ms Heart and her troupe saw it fit to involve the police which she feels needs to be commended for their prompt response. Upon arrival, Allan headed straight to the boss’s office where Ms Heart claims she was summoned to and that the particular officer who was present tried to calm the situation down by trying to convince Ms Heart that ‘This is not an issue.’ This however did not deter her mission of attaining justice as she went ahead and pressed charges. The matter is still being investigated and will hopefully be resolved as soon as possible.

It is rather surprising to have people still hurling such racial obscenities as if they were hibernating through the 20th century. It just goes to show that racism is still rife and we have enablers in our system nurturing it. There has been so much literature on racism to the point where ignorance cannot carry weight as an excuse in this era.
The threat Allan uttered that, ‘I will kill you’ is proof that gender based violence is a pandemic that is still far from being eliminated.

Batswana should be able to enjoy their tourism sector freely without fear of this kind of abuse which according to Ms Heart has become a bit of a norm. She gathered this when her ordeal went viral on social media and people started coming clean sharing their experiences with white people still trying to use ‘White Supremacy’ to abuse locals.

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