Mdk receives apology

PURSUANT to case no 18369/18 in the Cape High Court in the matter between Michael Francois de Kock and Chophelikhaya Simoto, a Deed Of Settlement signed between the parties on Tuesday 18 June included the undermentioned letter of apology issued to trainer Mike de Kock by Chophelikhaya Simoto.

Simoto, overstepped the mark by a wide margin.

Simoto, overstepped the mark by a wide margin. (Hamish Niven)

The case followed remarks and allegations made about Mike de Kock after the grooms’ protests at Randjesfontein in 2018.

The letter is published unabridged, as received:


Dear Mr de Kock

1.I refer to my letter of 19 July 2019, which I published to Messrs Lyndon Barends, Rian du Plessis and Clyde Basel and Ms. Faeeza Heuvel (“the Letter”).

2.In the Letter, I made the following wrongful and defamatory statements:

2.1.that you “breached 12.1 of the Rules and Regulations of the NHA that specified all Trainers must obey the Labour Laws”;

2.2.that “breached Section 189 of the Labour Relation Act that specified the procedure of retrenchment’;

2.3.”the rules of retrenchment is last in person-is the first out person, but Mike De Kock because of the targeting some people to go (eg) Desmon go 20 years in his company and there are     more than 20 people employed after Desmon but he chosen Desmon to one of the people to go because of he got personal issues with him” [sic];

2.4.that you “is dipreving the rights of the Black people to not enjoy a Democracy which was fought forour fathers” [sic];

2.5.that you are “pretending that he is innocent but its killing the Black people in South Africa” [sic];

2.6.that you do “not care” about his employees, regardless of how they have “suffered”; and

2.7.”I believe that even the NHA knows that the Black people were oppressed by the previous government special Eugen De Kock was one of the terrorist and torched… the Blacks•[sic]”.

3.I admit that my statements in the Letter were untrue and unjustified. In fact, you have been an outspoken supporter of the grooms in the horseracing industry, their rights and welfare, for many years, including being instrumental in convincing the horseracing industry to pay grooms 1% of race earnings.

In the circumstances, I hereby apologise unreservedly for, and unconditionally retract the statements.


Chophelikhaya Simoto

18 June 2019