Johannesburg - A woman beaten up by a man over a parking spot has now been charged with assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH).
Lineo Ditsebe appeared at Randburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
The mother of one said she was with her sister-in-law, looking for a parking spot at the filling station when the clash occurred.
After struggling for find a spot, she saw a group of women standing at the only available parking spot.
She hooted, indicating to them to move out of the way, but they did not. She squeezed her car into the parking spot, which had cones placed around it.
That’s when things turned nasty, she said.
“As I parked, one of the boyfriends of the women that were standing at the opened spot approached my car.
“He started screaming and shouting at me,” she said.
Ditsebe added that another man opened her car door to apologise to her on how his friend was acting towards her.
As she switched off her car, the man opened her door.
When she got out, the man started screaming at her and became aggressive.
“I was scared for my life as he started threatening me, saying he was going to kill me and put me at the back of my car boot,” Ditsebe said, adding the man had accused her of nearly killing his girlfriend.
“He repeatedly said he was going to kill me and put me in the back of my boot. I panicked and used my pepper spray (on him).”
Ditsebe said she then ran into the convenience store for help.
She asked a cashier to call the police, and he said he had already alerted the security guards using a panic button.
As she was waiting in the store, the man came in and, she said, started beating, punching and kicking her.
Ditsebe said people at the garage tried to stop him, but he continued assaulting her.
Eventually his friends pulled him away from her.
A few minutes later, the police arrived and took her and her alleged assailant to the Honeydew Police Station, where the man was arrested. He was released on bail.
On Tuesday, however, Ditsebe was also arrested after the man laid a counter charge against her because Ditsebe had used pepper spray.
“The police told me that the pepper spray I used counts as a weapon,” said Ditsebe.
Ditsebe has tried to get the CCTV footage from the filling station where the incident took place but the manager of the store refused to give it to her, stating that she must first get a court order.
Ditsebe on Wednesday told The Star that she just want the whole court case to come to an end.
“I am tired and exhausted from this whole experience,” she said.
The Star also visited the filling station where they met with the manager of the store. The manager said she had already given the footage to the police.
“We have a policy in the store and we are not going to speak to the media,” said the manager.
Buhle Sibanyoni, who was with Ditsebe when she encounted her ordeal, said she was scared and confused as everything happened fast.
“Seeing her like that with bruises all over her face and body is unbearable,” said Sibanyoni.
She claimed police had told them that the suspected assailant was going to be in police custody for the whole weekend but to their surprise he was out the following day.
Spokesperson for the department of Community Safety Busaphi Nxumalo said Ditsebe should not have been arrested because she only used to the pepper spray to protect herself..
“The lady was only protecting herself after her life was threatened repeatedly,” she said.
Spokesperson for Honeydew police station Captain Balan Muthan however, said a person can be charged with assault GBH especially for using a pepper spray.
“Pepper spray can be dangerous and even kill a person for that matter, especially when a person is suffering from asthma,” said Muthan.
The case was postponed to 17 July for further investigations.