A racehorse trainer who claimed he was being ousted from the industry on racial grounds has received a lifeline from the SCA, which ruled that the Equality Court take another look at his complaint.

The Mercury reports the Equality Court sitting in Durban had earlier dismissed his complaint of unfair discrimination on a technical point in law. Anil Maharaj has been fighting for years to be allowed back into racing circles.

His problems started when the National Racing Authority found him guilty in 2001 of two counts of assault. The sanction imposed on him was an order suspending his training licence for five years. After his suspension had expired, Maharaj approached Gold Circle to ask for stabling facilities as well as funding from the transformation funding Gold Circle had established to assist the former disadvantaged operating in the horse racing industry.

Both requests were denied by Gold Circle and it never gave Maharaj reasons for this refusal.

Maharaj believed it was based on unfair racial discrimination on account of him being an Indian. He lodged a complaint of unfair discrimination with the Equality Court, which turned down his application and found that Gold Circle did not unfairly discriminate against him.

He then turned to the High Court to appeal the ruling but was again turned down. That court found that Gold Circle was in its rights not to accept him back.

SCA Justice MB Molemela remitted the matter back to the Equality Court, saying that it must again look at all the issues.

Full report in The Mercury (subscription needed)

Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd v Maharaj