SU Law Clinic: Settlement in Paralympian’s access case welcomed

The outcome of legal proceedings in which a settlement has been reached between the South African Paralympic athlete, Hendri Herbst and a well-known Cape winery, is not only a victory for visually impaired people, but will assist greatly in creating awareness of the rights of people with disabilities not to be discriminated against.

This is according to Dr Theo Broodryk, Head of the Law Clinic at Stellenbosch University (SU).

The Law Clinic recently instituted legal proceedings in the Equality Court on behalf of Herbst. The winery has admitted to discriminating against Herbst in 2014 when he was refused access to the winery’s restaurant due to the presence of his guide dog.

In terms of the settlement agreement, which was made an order of the Equality Court on 26 September 2018, Durbanville Hills will issue a public apology in which it admits to discriminating against Herbst and undertakes to take “steps to ensure that all staff employed by Durbanville Hills will take part in sensitivity training from the Guide Dog Association of South Africa”. Durbanville Hills will further contribute R50 000 to the Guide Dogs Association “for the purpose of a media campaign to be run by it in order to raise awareness in respect of guide dogs”. Durbanville Hills will further pay an amount of R50 000 to Mr Herbst as compensation for the incident.

“The steps taken by Durbanville Hills are welcomed and will assist in raising awareness of the rights of people with disabilities not to be discriminated against. The outcome of this matter should however also send a stern warning that discriminatory conduct towards vulnerable individuals such as Herbst will not be tolerated”.

  • The Stellenbosch University Law Clinic has been awarded the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa (CCASA) Achievement Award at the 2018 African Legal Awards! The award recognises exceptional achievement within Africa’s legal community.

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