(194)  Scots seen in South Africa as thrifty

From Sep 04 2002 Business Day 1st Edition: –

THE South African Justice Department has taken issue with the opening remarks in Judge Willie Hartzenberg’s judgment in the Dave King case yesterday, which appear to be a generalisation about the spending habits of Scotsmen. In his written judgment, Hartzenberg said: Scotsmen are known to be thrifty. The first respondent (King) is a Scot. He cannot be accused of squandering his money on the unnecessary payment of income tax.  Justice Department spokesman Paul Setsetse said that although the department had not had the opportunity of reading the remarks in their proper context, they appeared to have been unfortunate. Remarks which targeted a specific racial group were unfortunate and not in the spirit of the constitution which the judiciary has a duty to uphold. If remarks were made blindly against the Scottish community, then such remarks are regrettable and did not reflect the thinking of SA’s judiciary, Setsetse said. The Federated Caledonian Society of South Africa could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Thanks to Professor Gerhard Lubbe of Stellenbosch University for this item, which will no doubt have a certain resonance here in the light of Scottish Minister Ross Finnie’s recent apology for having described CBI Director General Digby Jones as an English prat.