ATTACKED: 57-year-old father-of-two Lazarus Malatji was beaten by a 22-year-old white boy.
Johannesburg - What started as a wrong turn onto a road that is still under construction led to a road rage incident that left a man beaten to a pulp and repeatedly called the k-word.

When police arrived at the scene to defuse the situation, they were also allegedly repeatedly called k*****s by the 22-year-old white perpetrator, who resisted arrest and phoned his father for help.

The incident happened around midnight last Monday when Lazarus Malatji was going home to De Deur after dropping off a family member in Vereeniging.

“On my way driving from Vanderbijlpark, passing Checkers Hyper, I advanced and joined the R82, thinking that it was a two-way road,” he said.

At this point, Malatji was facing oncoming traffic but not aware of it.

“I saw cars flickering and hooting, signalling that I was on the wrong lane. I then took the extreme left, switching lanes to join the Vereeniging Road when I noticed a white VW Polo driven by a white man following me,” Malatji said.

He said the people inside the car were busy pointing fingers at him and proceeded to stop in front of him and block his way.

“There were no other cars on the road at the time, and I would not ask myself what it is that I had done.

“At the traffic light, I did not stop and just told myself I would rather hit other cars than stop.

“At the second robot, they went past me and stopped in front of me. I realised I did not have a chance and would have to hit them.

“I bumped them a little and kept going forward. I then took the Vereeniging Road. I was scared throughout that these guys could kill me.”

Malatji stopped at the nearest filling station, where he arrived hooting, alerting everyone there to the fact that the Polo was following him.

He said that as soon as he stopped, the driver of the Polo also arrived and got out.

“As soon as he came, I said to him ‘what’s your problem’ and he said ‘you’re asking me what’s the problem?’

“I just felt a fist (on my face) and don’t know if I fell or what, but the blows continued.

“That guy was filled with so much anger; he could kill someone. Luckily the police arrived. I have to thank them.

“As he was beating me, he was busy calling me a k****, and when the police came, he also called them k*****s too.”

Malatji said when police tried to arrest the man and put him in the back of the van, he refused, wanting his father there. This prompted the police to call for backup.

“He was saying I also needed to be arrested as I’m a criminal who damaged his car.”

Malatji said they all went to Vereeniging police station, where the man’s father later arrived, apologised and said it was not the first time his son had done that.

Vereeniging police said 22-year-old Jauna van Vuuren was arrested at the scene and charged with assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police said Van Vuuren appeared in court the following day and was granted bail.

Malatji said he was still traumatised by the physical attack and racial abuse he suffered at the hands of the suspect.

“This has never happened to me before. I have never been beaten up by anyone, let alone a white person.

“I feel humiliated and belittled by this entire incident because it is something that a young child did to me. As old as I am, I could not fight or defend myself,” Malatji said.

“I kept asking myself why such a young child would hit an elderly person. In a matter of tradition, especially black culture, we are taught that a child cannot hit an older person,” said the 57-year-old father-of-two.

Malatji’s daughter, Mathole, said her family were worried about whether justice will be served. “I just imagine the amount of similar incidents that have occurred in the past and still are to occur in the future that were not or will not be taken seriously,” she said.

The Star