'Three white men attacked black teens at swimming pool in South Africa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reacts to the video, calling on South Africans to unite against racism.
Video of an incident widely shared on social media showed three white men violently assaulting Black teens for trying to use a swimming pool while on vacation in South Africa, police sources reported on Friday.
Racist Still exist in South Africa for real!— 𝑩𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒔 𝑹𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒐𝒏 (@Blacksregion) December 28, 2022
White men strangled a black South African boy for swimming in a "White Only Pool" on Christmas day, Dec 25, 2022. pic.twitter.com/59D8A9Vkp3
One of the men was charged with attempted murder as he is seen choking one of the teens under water. The remaining two were charged with assault.
The victim said he and his cousin were assaulted on Christmas Day by white people at a vacation resort they were visiting in Bloemfontein, in the province of the Free State.
His family had come to the resort for a first family reunion since the start of the pandemic.
"They harassed us because we are Black," Kgokong Nakedi, 18, told reporters. "They said we were not allowed to swim in the pool because it is for Whites only."
Nakedi’s father, Brian Nakedi, said his son had asked him on Sunday to speak with several white men who refused to allow the boys to swim.
"We thought we had settled this matter," he said, but soon several men were attacking the boys "like marauding wild animals."
"A scuffle ensued, and this other guy was vice-gripping Kgokong and telling him he’s now going to kill him because he doesn’t listen," Brian Nakedi said, adding that a younger white man managed to save his son's life.
As this incident brought back memories of racial segregation, Brian said, "To relive what you have lived before, it’s a tough thing, especially if it’s reminiscent of the apartheid system."
"It was a very selfish act of aggression that came from people who subscribe to racism and working against what we are trying to build in this country: non-racism and Ubuntu," he added.
47-year-old suspect, Kobus Johannes Classen, was charged on Thursday with attempted murder and was released on bail of 20,000 South African rand (about $1,180), with a next hearing scheduled on January 25.
The two other suspects, Johan Nel, 33, and Jan Stephanus van der Westhuizen, 47, face charges of common assault and "crimen injuria" (unlawfully and intentionally impairing the dignity or privacy of another person).
In reaction to the video, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement on Tuesday, "As black and white South Africans, we should be united in condemning all manifestations of racism and attempts to explain or defend such crimes."
"It is deplorable that adults dealing with teenagers resort to violence with such disturbing ease."
According to an earlier police statement, officers arrived at the Bloemfontein resort on Christmas Day shortly after 3 pm and found that the groups had dispersed. A man at the scene then approached the officers and said two teenagers had been assaulted by a group of white men over use of the swimming pool, police said.
"Certain minorities think that they own the place and it’s their country," Kgokong Nakedi told reporters. "But the truth is, it’s our home. Things like that are outdated."
“Justice is on course,” he said. “We believe in the rule of law, and we have confidence in the justice system.”