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Paratroopers win Colchester barracks racial harassment claim

Two former British army soldiers have won a racial discrimination claim against the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Hani Gue (L) and Nkululeko Zulu claimed they were subjected to racial harassment
Hani Gue (L) and Nkululeko Zulu claimed they were subjected to racial harassment

Nkululeko Zulu and Hani Gue alleged they faced years of harassment and took their case to an employment tribunal.

A judgement ruled they had been the victims of racist graffiti written on a photo of them in their barracks at Colchester in January 2018.

The tribunal ruled their other claims inadmissible, including the barracks having being decorated with Nazi flags.

The men intend to seek compensation.

The pair served with 3rd Battalion (3 Para), based at Merville Barracks in Colchester.

The tribunal heard that someone had drawn a swastika, a Hitler moustache and a racist remark on photographs of the men attached to Mr Gue’s door.

A written judgement said: “The conduct was unquestionably unwanted; the graffiti in question was of the most unpleasant nature, set out on Mr Gue’s personal photographs and was racially highly offensive.”

It added that the even though the perpetrator was unknown and therefore the motivation had not been explained, “the carrying out of this act was so unpleasant that it can only have been done with the purpose of violating the claimants’ dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment for them”.

Mr Zulu had told the tribunal that when he joined the Army he held it in high regard but now considered it to be a racist institution.

The men’s solicitor Amy Harvey, of Banks Kelly Solicitors, said: “The claimants have succeeded in establishing their claim against the MoD that they suffered racial harassment during their time in the Army and that the MoD did not take all reasonable steps to prevent such harassment.”

An MoD spokesperson said: “As a modern and inclusive employer, the armed forces do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour in any form.

“Any allegations of inappropriate behaviour are taken extremely seriously and investigated thoroughly.

“We note the decision of the tribunal today.” BBC News