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Vile abuse, vicious beatings and constant intimidation from the religious police: Shocking extent of cruel treatment meted out to expat staff by Saudi royals revealed

Ruth Styles

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July 30, 2014

  • Cay Garcia, from Cape Town, worked as a butler for a Saudi princess
  • Was disgusted by extent of the abuse, mostly directed at Filipino maids
  • Eventually left after confronting her employer about treatment of staff
  • Incidents included beatings and rooms being trashed as punishment
  • Also saw one maid being forced to tip a bucket of ice over her own head
  • Expats cannot leave without being given an exit visa by their employer
  • As a result, maids with whom Cay worked are trapped in Riyadh
  • Cay has chosen not to give the name of her blue-blooded employer

When Cay Garcia, a fifty-something from Cape Town, was offered a well-paid job working for a princess from Saudi Arabia's ruling dynasty, she jumped at the chance.

But less than four months after she arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh, she was hustled on to a plane and thrown out of the country - all because she stood up to her abusive employer.

Now back in South Africa, she has written a book laying bare her experiences at the hands of the Saudi royals - and sheds light on a side of Riyadh life that is rarely seen by outsiders.

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