Racist assault put runner out of big race

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Cape Town - A Johannesburg attorney who flew to Cape Town to take part in the Two Oceans Marathon at the weekend missed out on the event after an alleged racist assault.

Jongikhaya Gwe said he was left with a head injury, fractured leg and bruises on the body after the assault on the eve of the ultra marathon.

“I could not run in the marathon because it was really painful. I was hit on my back with batons and kicked on the neck,” Gwe said on Tuesday.

His alleged attackers, a member of the Brackenfell neighbourhood watch, Pieter le Roux, and security guards Johan Charl and Lindsey Carlse, appeared in the Kuilsriver Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of assault.

Gwe said he stayed with his sister in Brackenfell during his visit and he had taken a walk on Friday morning when Le Roux approached him and asked why he was in the area.

Le Roux, who looked at him suspiciously, asked for his ID but Gwe refused.

“He told me if I wanted to walk in the neighbourhood I should get permission from him… He said he knows how blacks think because he used to deal with them in Namibia and that I must not behave like Malema,” he said.

Gwe said he walked away, but Le Roux followed him to the next street where he was confronted by security guards who wanted to search him.

“He (Le Roux) told them I was hardegat (stubborn) because I did not want to give my ID. He wanted to search me but I refused. That is when he punched me in the face. The security guard took out a baton and hit me on my back,” Gwe said.

He fell to the ground and one of the guards kicked him on the neck, he said, adding that the attack only stopped when a security guard from a different company intervened.

“The gentleman told them I was a lawyer and then they asked why I had not said so.”

Brackenfell community police forum chairman Leon Brynard said the neighbourhood watch was investigating the matter.

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