Restaurateurs, Clive Abraham and Linda Naidoo, of Linda’s Hot Pot situated at the Durban Bowling Club on Gladys Manzi Road, Windermere, are hoping for a peaceful resolution to the brewing lease feud between the couple and the ‘powers that be’ at the club, with allegations of racial taunts also thrown in the mix.
Speaking to The Weekly Gazette, Naidoo, said it has been a tough few weeks with issues coming to a grind last week, when the bowling club management handed the couple a termination of lease letter. “I am baffled as to why all of this is happening since I was initially approached by a representative of the Durban Bowling Club to run the restaurant on the premises. After careful consideration, I agreed to do so on 10 January of this year and I signed a one year lease. Since then, I have been on constant tenterhooks as suddenly this lease issue came into play from March. It has been a back and forth battle and we were rudely instructed to be out by Thursday. However, on Thursday, Clive and I secured an interim court order that enables us to continue running our business. We have engaged a lawyer to assist us in setting matters straight as we have been exemplary leasees on the property and we have been handed a raw deal,” said Naidoo.
Further to the lease dispute, there have emerged reports of racial taunts flung at Naidoo’s patrons, allegedly by some of the white members of the predominantly white Durban Bowling Club. Naidoo said some patrons were called ‘c###@#s and k#@@#$s.’
According to Naidoo, there were two situations where persons of ‘colour’ entered the premises and the manager pressed the panic button for the security service provider to respond. “There was no emergency. It was a ploy to get the security personnel to remove the non-white patrons from the premises. How can this be happening? These are our customers and our friends. They have every right to be on the property. They were very disturbed by the racial slurs and are looking to pursue the matter further,” said Naidoo.
“We do not want any gripes with the Durban Bowling Club management. Clive and I just want to be allowed the opportunity to do what we do best and that is cook and serve food. We want our customers to be allowed to purchase and enjoy their meals in peace. This lease tussle and the racial jibes are taking its toll on us. Last Friday, we took a big hit when we could not operate our business. It was a month-end Friday, one of our busy days. We just want this debacle sorted,” said a distressed Naidoo.
Patrons of the restaurant took to Facebook to air their views on the ongoing racial tension at the Durban Bowling Club with many slamming the racist attitudes, calling for a change in mindset where all racial groups are embraced and respected. The Weekly Gazette made several attempts to contact the management of the Durban Bowling Club but no comment was forthcoming at the time of going to press.