Butler standards Newsletter SABA South African Butler Academy

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2021, SABA Update

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Update on Litigation against the South African Butler Academy

Legal actions being taken by Ms. Yang Lin and 18 students against the South African Butler Academy (SABA), Mr. Newton Cross, Guild Recruitment (GR), Mr. Willem Adriaan Coetzer, Butler Training Pty Ltd, and Butler Holdings Pty Ltd, have progressed.

After months of repeated delays and request for Ms. Yang Lin to grant them indulgence, the Defendants finally served their discovery. Their discovery documents show Newton Cross received six weeks of butler training at the South African School for Butlers and Household Personnel in 2002 and it is the only credential Mr. Cross presented. He admits in his affidavit that the facts of the matter concerning his claimed training are as follows: The Buckingham Palace training was a fabrication; he worked as a waiter on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, not as a butler, and Cunard’s work appraisal shows Mr. Cross delivered “Standard” work performance, notches below “Exceed Standards” and “Outstanding”.

Contrary to Defendants’ publicity, the discovery documents confirm the research done that Mr. Cross has never been hired by Fancourt Hotel, and he never worked as a butler, as claimed, for the line of celebrities and four presidents.

The discovery documents further show that SABA has made proposals to some hotels to train their staff in exchange for free accommodations in their hotel and no further payment. Based on SABA’s hotel training videos posted online, it is believed that SABA used these training videos to add credits to itself, and further pitch its training to other hotels.

Some discovery documents seem dubious. See: Ms. Yang Lin’s Notice in Terms of Rule 35(3) dated 21 October 2021 and Defendants’ reply

In the meantime, the Protection of Personal Information Regulator has also started investigating Ms. Lin’s complaint about the Defendants’ publication of her residential address and their illegal use of her images to mislead consumers (Case No.: CDR334-21). We are told the National Consumer Commission’s investigation is at an advanced stage.

Due to lockdowns in 2020, high court cases are back-logged, the trial date has been delayed to 2022, with long-awaited justice finally expected to be served.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.