An elderly man (second from left wearing sunglasses) stands next to a police minibus shortly after police officers whisked him away from a crowd of people who wanted to beat him up outside the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court. PHOTO: ANA

Pretoria - An unidentified elderly man, who was attending the case of another man accused of raping his parents’ domestic worker and forcing her to perform sexual acts on his dog, was on Tuesday saved by the police from a crowd of people who wanted to beat him up outside the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court, east of Pretoria.

The trouble started when an unknown man from the crowd, who was clad in Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) regalia, took a picture of the elderly man with his cellphone while he was stepping out of the court building with an elderly white woman. 

The elderly man became furious and waved his hand and quickly moved towards the EFF supporter as if he wanted to confront him for photographing him. 

A crowd of people quickly surrounded the elderly man, hurling racial insults at him and trying to assault him, but police officers stepped in and whisked him away to safety.  

A number of other people took pictures of the scuffle with their cellphones, while the elderly woman who had walked out of court with the elderly man stood nearby and watched. The police escorted the two elderly people to their car across the street. Some of the people in the irate crowd wore African National Congress (ANC) attire.

Police officers move towards a crowd of people to save an elderly man from attack outside the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court, while a woman who was walking with him (far right) looks on. PHOTO: ANA

It was not immediately clear if the two elderly people were the parents of or related to the accused in the highly-charged trial, but the elderly man has been seen inside the same courtroom every time the accused appeared. He is always sat in the first row of seats in the public gallery, near the dock. 

Coordinator of the EFF in the Tshwane sub-region Sizwe Skhosana condemned the incident and blamed it on the elderly man.

“Several people were taking pictures of him but he only chose to confront our member,” said Skhosana. 

 The police could not immediately be reached for comment.

The 45-year-old accused is facing 10 charges including rape, sexual assault and malicious damage to property. He was arrested in November last year for allegedly raping the 41-year-old domestic worker. The incident allegedly happened in Riamar Park, near Bronkhorstspruit, in October.

African News Agency/ANA