A man caught on CCTV footage assaulting a pregnant woman at Featherbrooke Village Mall in Ruimsig west of Johannesburg has been suspended as chief executive officer of Novare Consultants with immediate effect.
Romeo Makhubela was caught on footage at a fast food outlet in the mall slapping pregnant Bianca Fourie‚ the daughter of Krugersdorp Freedom Front Plus councillor Amanda de Lange‚ in an alleged parking row.
In addition‚ Novare has launched an investigation into the matter that will be led by two non-executive Novare directors and one of South Africa’s leading law firms.
“An interim CEO has been appointed from within the Novare team with immediate effect as to ensure the continued operation of the business. Novare does not condone violence of any kind and the behaviour displayed it is not a representation of Novare’s culture.” said Anika Theron‚ Novare spokesperson.
De Lange said her seven-month pregnant daughter was waiting for an open parking that was blocked when Makhubela started shouting behind her. He was driving behind her. “She ignored it and found another parking. When she walked up to Steers‚ he was waiting for her and wanted to know what her problem was. As you can see on the first Steers video footage‚ she avoided him and walked around him. He then lashed out and started attacking her‚ grabbing her phone.
“He hit her outside the shop. He then came to the counter‚ and his driver went outside to talk to Bianca – telling her to put her phone away and walk away. On the footage you can see that the attacker then went to the door‚ starting to intimidate and threaten her again‚” said De Lange.
In the video the man is seen storming toward her and hitting her in the stomach.
“The whole incident is bizarre and totally uncalled for. We all get irritated from time to time but physically attacking people because they point at you or your car is ridiculous. To attack a visibly pregnant woman is barbaric‚” said De Lange.
Fourie is home recovering and the baby was not harmed.
Her mother said her trauma would stay with the family. She remembered when her daughter at the age of 12 was shot at for her cell phone.
De Lange said she did not intend to fuel people’s anger. “It is a matter of violence against women and children and the fact that a lot is said about it but people’s attitudes need to change. As women and children in South Africa‚ we must feel safe and protected – not threatened and scared.”