KZN man tells of multiple assaults by groups in Phoenix during July unrest
A KwaMashu resident in KwaZulu-Natal told the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) hearing into the July riots how he was severely assaulted by separate groups of Indian men who had blocked the Phoenix highway.
Mbuso Xaba said he had been looking for a fuel station in the area when he and three young men he was travelling with were ambushed by a group of Indian men who had blocked the highway. He was close to the filling station when they were attacked.
“I never reached the filling station. I saw a group of Indians blocking the road. They told me to come closer. When I got closer, an old Indian man approached and asked where I was going. I alighted from the vehicle while the three young men I was with remained in the car.”
He said the old man asked him if he was going to Phoenix to loot.
“I told him we were there to put petrol in the car. He told me to go back to the car. When I got into the car, a few seconds later a lot of Indian young men approached us carrying weapons,” Xaba said.
He said the men were carrying baseball bats, guns, axes and bush knives. He said the firearms were automatic rifles and shotguns.
“They pelted the car with stones. Some were hitting the car with axes. They told us we were Zuma’s dogs. They called us ka**irs. They said we were in the area to loot.
“They took me out of the vehicle and hit me with baseball bats. The other group were assaulting the young men I was travelling with.
“I was shocked and confused about why these people were assaulting us. We had told them we were not looting and I said they could check the car,” Xaba said.
When they escaped, a few metres after the first roadblock, they saw another group of Indian men who had also blocked the road.
Xaba said he was hit on the head with a brick.
“They looked happy and were laughing at us.”
They simply told me to get into the car and drive off or I will die.Mbuso Xaba
Xaba said a white sedan emerged while he was lying on the ground.
“Two Indian police officers got out [of the vehicle]. I could not initially tell if they were police officers because they were wearing civilian clothes and their car was not marked. The officers told the group to let us go.”
He said the men he believed were police officers told him to get into the car and drive away.
“I asked them to escort me, but they refused. The car was damaged and I was surprised it could still move.”
According to Xaba, they did not tell them to go to the police station or offer to take them.
“They simply told me to get into the car and drive off or I will die.”
Xaba said on his way to the police station he saw another group assaulting two black men who were in a white hatchback.
“I realised I would not reach the police station so I did not proceed in that direction.”
Xaba said he was again assaulted by another group. The same group was assaulting an elderly woman who was carrying a shopping bag.
The hearing continues.
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