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A Zambian student who was beaten outside a popular nightclub in an alleged racist attack says he was “singled out because I was black”.
Likandi Mbumwae was giving evidence in the trial of two Pietermaritzburg brothers in the city’s regional court on Tuesday.
Jean Pierre du Plooy, 25, and his 21-year-old brother, Nicholas
, are alleged to have assaulted Mbumwae in September. They face charges of assault and crimen injuria.
The State alleges the brothers, both avid weightlifters and rugby players, assaulted Mbumwae, a Pietermaritzburg UKZN student, on the night of September 1 outside Crowded House nightclub in Commercial Road.
It is alleged the brothers taunted Mbumwae after he arrived at the club in the company of his friend, a white American student called Rachael.
It is alleged they called Mbumwae, a BComm student, a k****r, and the American woman a “monkey-lover”.
It is alleged they then proceeded to punch Mbumwae repeatedly on his face and body.
The brawl between the Du Plooy brothers and Mbumwae was captured by a CCTV camera, and the footage was viewed in court yesterday and admitted into evidence.
In his evidence, Mbumwae said he went to Crowded House with his friend Rachael at about 9.30pm. While in the club, he was tripped and, following this incident, one of the bouncers approached him and asked him if he was carrying any weapons.
“I was carrying a knife and knuckle-dusters, which the bouncer confiscated, but they were returned to me when I exited the club,” he said.
He said he always carried a weapon for self-defence, and was also involved in martial arts training and enjoyed “throwing daggers and ninja stars”.
Mbumwae said that when he left the club at 1.45am, he met Rachael and another friend outside and saw the Du Plooy brothers. Nicholas, he said, appeared to be “super-drunk”.
Mbumwae said Nicholas told Rachael she was too good for him.
“When I asked him why, he said it was because I’m black,” Mbumwae said. After Nicholas allegedly called Rachael a monkey-lover, Mbumwae challenged him to a fight.
“Then a punch came from the left to the side of my face. I tried throwing a punch to defend myself, but I was tackled to the ground,” he said, adding that a series of “shots” were then delivered to his body. He suffered ruptured vessels to his left eye, a black eye, abrasions and swelling to his face.
Mbumwae said that Nicholas yelled: “I will kill you, k****r!”
“I was provoked to react in the way I did… I don’t get into fights, what’s the point… the world is full of idiots like this,” Mbumwae said, pointing to the Du Plooy brothers sitting in the dock.
Under cross-examination, Mbumwae could not explain why statements made by the club’s bouncers to the police did not support his version.
According to the statements, Mbumwae was “chirping” in the club and was dispossessed of his weapons after an altercation. They also deny having heard the Du Plooy brothers make any racial slurs.
Mbumwae could also not explain why his statement to police differed greatly from his evidence in court.
The brothers, who were accompanied to court by their parents, pleaded not guilty to the charges. They say they were confronted by Mbumwae outside the nightclub as they were leaving.
They allege Mbumwae called them “white trash” and accused them of informing a bouncer at the club that he was in possession of weapons.
A verbal exchange between the brothers and Mbumwae then ensued, after which Mbumwae challenged Nicholas to a fight “one-on-one”.
The brothers allege they saw Mbumwae reach for something in his back pocket and pull out a knife. The brothers allege that they then threw a punch at Mbumwae in self-defence, which resulted in a full-on brawl.
Bouncers at the club are believed to have then broken up the fight.
The Du Plooys deny having called Mbumwae any racist names.
The trial was adjourned to July 12. - Daily News