[Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article misidentified Zwai as his brother Loyiso. Wee apologise for the error.]
Cape Town - Former TKZee singer, songwriter and businessman Zwai Bala and his brother Lwando were at Strand Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for the case against a man who allegedly racially attacked them in Gordon’s Bay.
The incident occurred on January 6 at a restaurant at Harbour Island after Lwando Bala started taking pictures of the scenery.
A group of white men then attacked him and stripped him of his Masai blanket and called him the K-word.
The suspect, who cannot be identified until the magistrate makes a decision, was the only person arrested out of the group.
“I was sitting at the pier trying to take pictures of the scenery. I heard people talking from the balcony that I was sitting under. I heard racial slurs then I looked up and a female voice said there’s a ‘K-word’ looking at us. That’s when a male voice said I feel like beating a ‘K-word’ today.
“I looked up and they threatened to come down and beat me up. I said nothing and just looked at them, that’s when a group of men came charging down the stairs. I ran because I felt my life was being threatened.”
At the time, Zwai was sitting inside the restaurant with his girlfriend and a friend.
“We had just had dinner and paid the bill. I asked where Lwando was and then he came back and said he was being harassed and attacked by racists. He said they took his Masai blanket,” the reality star said.
“Soon after that, white men followed him and a shorter one came and he was furious and accused Lwando of filming them. I asked why they attacked him for filming,” Zwai said.
He said while trying to find out what happened things turned chaotic.
“We were trying to understand what exactly happened, the group of men were at our table physically and verbally assaulting everyone there. They continued calling us by derogatory words such as p**s and K-words, threatening to hit everyone in our group.
“They pushed us around and insisted on seeing my brother’s phone to prove that he was not taking pictures of them. It could have turned into something ugly.”
Zwai said the restaurant staff removed his group from the restaurant. “We were taken out the back entrance, when we parked in front of the restaurant, because black people are always managed,” he said.
“The attacker is the family friend of the establishment’s owner. I think that Strand and Gordon’s Bay are highly racist,” he said.
Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg confirmed that a 45-year-old man was arrested and had made a court appearance. “He was charged with intimidation and assault,” he said.
Zwai vowed to see the case through and make sure a point was made.
“This one we’re not letting go, even our parents are still traumatised by the past and no one should do this to anyone. We are going to look into going after the establishment as well.”
The brothers were supported by the EFF in court on Thursday and the matter will be heard again on February 7.