White male. Image: Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

White male. Image: Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

South African wins £54,000 in compensation for enduring racial abuse

The boss dismissed claims and stated they were “office banter”.

White male. Image: Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

White male. Image: Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Wayne Hoch, a South African steelworker wins £54,000 in compensation after enduring racial slurs from British colleagues. The steelworker who was ridiculed in Snapchat images has since won a payout for racial abuse, even though he is white and his attackers are white too.

Racial abuse: Hoch felt suicidal from enduring the abuse

In reports, Hoch states he was feeling suicidal from the racial abuse he has suffered from his colleagues at the company, as the boss, Thor Atkinson simply dismissed the harassment as “office banter”.

“I want to others to know that you don’t need to stand for verbal or racial abuse at work. It is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. A lot of the staff followed Thor’s actions and thought it was okay to follow suit. Taking this case to a tribunal has been enormously stressful but I could not let them get away with how they acted.”

Wayne Hoch

A white South African steelworker has been called a “k*****”

The British colleagues at the United Kingdom, Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Ltd, repeatedly mocked Hoch for being South African, and called him a “nigger” and foreign “c***”. The court learnt that Atkinson referred to Hoch as a foreign “cunt” more than addressing him by his name. The boss went as far as referring to Hoch as “k*****”.

It is reported by the Daily Mail, that one colleague went as far as posting Hoch’s image on a Snapchat filter, where Hoch’s head was embodied onto a body of a starving black child, with a caption: ‘Donate £1 a month to save this poor child’.

Another image was posted of Hoch, next to an African woman carrying a child with a caption of ‘Congratulations Wayne on the newborn’. The steelworker resigned in 2018 and stated:

“They degraded me, humiliated me and left me depressed and anxious. They bullied me relentlessly and called me the most offensive names daily. I almost ended my life from the stress and anxiety they caused.”

Wayne Hoch

Hoch resigned from the company and took insult recordings to court

In Hoch’s resignation letter, he stated that the abuse was degrading, racist, and threatening. He also kept some recordings of the insults and played it to the judge. The occasion recorded reveals, Ollie Hunter, a colleague, making clicking sounds trying to imitate IsiXhosa, and speaking over Hoch saying: “Mud, hut, spear, lion, lion, lion”.

The court awarded Hoch a total sum of £54,686, which when converted amounts to R 1 009 137,89. The judge admitted that the amount was significant, but warranted for because of the racial incidents that took place.

“In all the circumstances, the tribunal is clear that it was the events at work as described that led to, were the effective cause of the claimant’s decision to resign.”

Judge Hodgson