aof document

Documents concerning court cases involving the railroad (1940-1941)
in AOF 5 M 408

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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This carton contained files on a large variety of criminal cases. These notes are from cases that involved the railroad.

Procurer de la République to Commissaire Central de Dakar,
n°1261 (Dakar, November 1, 1940)

One case involved Bocar Guisse who was hired as a "frappeur journalier" on January 11, 1940. He lost the "pinkie" finger on his right hand in an accident on July 15, 1940. He received three weeks of paid sick leave at his usual salary of 8.25 francs per day, but was fired on September 30, 1940 for having a bad attitude. In his lawsuit, he demanded 2,500 francs in compensation for the accident, but the railroad offered only 206.25 francs, the equivalent of one month's salary. The railroad's defense cited customary practice in the Soudan, since there was no appropriate law in Senegal.

Procureur de la République to Commissaire de Police à Saint Louis,
n°2040 (Saint Louis, April 5, 1941)

Seynabou Diaw, aged roughly 20, filed a lawsuit against Ousmane Abdoulaye Diallo, the chef de gare de Thiaroye, aged 53. Diallo was Diaw's ex-husband and she wanted child support for their son Khady Diallo, born on January 4, 1938. According to the affidavit provided by Diallo, the couple had received a Muslim divorce in 1938 (NOTE: which normally awarded chidlren to the father), but the son stayed with his mother because he was still breast-feeding. When the father tried to reclaim him the next year, the mother refused to give him up. The father sent support money anyway in two payments of 600 francs. He also obtained a decision on March 31, 1941 from the Cadi of Saint Louis that awarded him custody of the child, but she still refused to give him up.

Other affidavits mention that she remarried twice since the divorce and that her current husband, Amadou Ba, was a merchant at Dabou in the Ivory Coast. She lived with her mother, Fatou Faye, in her father's house in Saint Louis. They were supported by her husband, but also by two of Fatou Faye's sons who were employed by the railroad at Bamako and Kaolack.

Procureur Général to Commissaire Central de Dakar, n°3829 (Dakar, April 11, 1941)

There was a civil suit between Djiby Ba and the Chemin de Fer Dakar-Niger. Ba was hired as a "manoeuvre auxiliaire" at 8 francs per day. He worked in a crew led by Sadio Cissoko from August 17 to Octobeer 22, 1939, when he was laid off. One day in August 1939, a block of stone fell on his leg. He received permission to get treatment, but no medical report was filed because the incident was minor. He lost no days at work.

Ba was hospitalized from July 22 to December 6, 1940 at the Hôopital Centrale Indigène de Dakar. He filed suit in March 21, 1941 for damages connected to hospital costs and the failure of the railroad to rehire him. In his suit, he claimed that he entered the hospital in December 1939, and not in December 1940, as the railroad claimed.