Johannesburg - They said she called them “k*****s”. She said they were drunk when they surrounded her and struck her across the face with a ceremonial knobkierie, breaking her nose and leaving deep blue bruises under her eyes.
In any case, the police did nothing.
It was early on Sunday morning on May 11 when Alberton guesthouse manager Leslie Rabie heard a commotion in the dark. She left her room in the corner of the complex to find about 20 men and women standing around the pool with drinks in their hands, singing to loud music and preparing to braai.
They had just returned from a wedding and were apparently drunk.
Around 12.30am, loud music isn’t allowed, and neither is outside alcohol and braaiing without permission.
Rabie confronted the guests, most of whom didn’t have reservations at Michelle Corporate Guest Lodge, telling them to quieten down and put their drinks away.
Rabie said about four men surrounded her as one repeatedly screamed in her face, “You white bitch”. She told them to back off, but then one of the guests allegedly whacked her several times with a knobkierie and shoved her into the pool.
When her boyfriend, Germiston warrant officer George du Plessis, tried to intervene, the guests beat him as well, Rabie said.
“They assaulted him because obviously he tried to help me, and they just came at him. They pushed me in the deep side, Rabie said, weeping as she recalled watching her boyfriend being beaten.
Rabie said she climbed out of the pool and ran as two guests chased her. She ducked around the dining room, but her attackers continued into the house where they smashed plates, broke glasses and allegedly caused R5 500 damage.
But when police arrived, “that’s when everything went to hell”, Rabie said.
She said that when police first responded, they were concerned when they saw the state of her face. However, after the guests told the officers that Rabie had called them “k*****s”, the cops turned against her, ordering her to give the guests a refund.
“Why would a white woman go between 15 drunk black men and call them ‘k*****s’? I want to know how I used that word in a sentence,” Rabie said.
“The police were just walking around the property, having a big joke of it, laughing, looking at me and talking in their own language.
“There’s nothing worse feeling so isolated and so alone. I can’t even rely on the police”.
Alberton police spokesman Captain George Raphulu confirmed that there had been an altercation at Michelle Corporate Guest Lodge in which drunk guests assaulted the manager and her boyfriend.
He declined to comment about what was said between the two parties, but confirmed there were no arrests.
“They were drunk and they broke some of the things in the guesthouse,” Raphulu said.
“People were assaulted there by the guests. That’s why I want to investigate why there were no arrests and who were the policemen who were there.”
The bride and groom, Tumi Moshuge and Bom Mafanya, declined to comment.
Rabie said she was disappointed that she feels the police can’t be trusted in an area where about 95 percent of guesthouse owners are women.