Butler standards Newsletter SABA South African Butler Academy

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, May 2021, Update on SABA Court Case

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Update on SABA Court Case

  1. On 4 Aug 2020, student Ms. Lin Yang instituted a Combined Summons at the Cape Town High Court against South African Butler Academy Close Corporation, Butler Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Butler Training (Pty) Ltd, Guild Recruitment Close Corporation, Mr. Newton Hilton Cross, Mr. Willem Adriaan Coetzer.
  2. Instead of entering a plea, the defendants launched an interlocutory application requesting Ms. Lin Yang to put half a million rand security deposit, arguing that she is not a South African citizen, she does not live in Cape Town, etc.
  3. Ms. Lin Yang successfully provided evidence that she does not need to pay a security deposit.
  4. In March 2021, defendants withdrew the interlocutory application and a court order gave them 20 working days to plea.
  5. Defendants failed to plea by the deadline.
  6. On 7th April 2021, Ms. Lin Yang’s attorney served a Notice of Bar demanding defendants deliver their plea within 5 days.
  7. On 12 April 2021, defendants finally delivered their plea, where they admitted making certain representations to Ms. Lin Yang.
  8. Now enters the discovery process where Ms. Lin Yang and all six defendants will exchange evidence, after which, a pre-trial date will be applied.

Another name for the company

Note: The South African Butler Academy, SABA, has now added another name to its list of identities: Beverley Hills Virtual Butler Training Academy.


True to SABA’s usual response to complainants, their lawyers sent a letter to all those joining the case against them threatening to subpoena them unless they changed their story. Hardly ethical, maybe not even legal, but typical bluster: Lawyers normally subpoena their own witnesses, not those of the opposing side! But being subpoena’d assuredly sounds like something to be avoided for an individual fighting a lonely battle—however, the litigants are too many now to be fooled by, and cave in to such tactics.

One more sad story

While the Institute continues to receive letters about their experiences, one of which was published in the “letters to the editor” section this month, one of the ex-SABA graduates sent a copy of a very long letter of complaint to SABA’s lawyers—too long to include here, but her ending should be of interest to any student contemplating entering the profession through this company.

“Your clients, their employees and relatives may continue to post 5 stars in its Google review to glorify themselves. But the truth has already come out. Thanks to students’ words and media exposure.   

“Three years ago when I did the course, I would not have had the courage to express my views. Like my classmates, I was trying to please SABA, Newton Cross, Adriaan Coetzer, and Guild Recruitment in the hope of getting a job after graduation. Now that I have lost to them every Navy pension I had and see other fellow students’ suffering, I am not afraid anymore. Your clients recorded a casual conversation between me and another fellow student when I did the course, and used the recording to intimidate me. I am not afraid anymore. 

“Please advise your clients to stop harming students and robbing them of hard-earned savings without teaching them anything. What goes around comes around.” Melissa-Jane Quinn

While the Institute awaits the final verdict from the judiciary on the court case in order to confirm innocence or guilt of the defendants (assuming it is not derailed by SABA), we are always willing to hear and publish any honest effort by SABA to provide verifiable facts that contradict those presented by their ex-students, as opposed to efforts to malign them and anyone else questioning their narrative. We are still waiting. And in the meantime, we are committed to providing a voice to those students whom SABA failed to satisfy and then failed to handle once they made their difficulties and issues known.

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.