I am filled with anger – unrest victim tells SAHRC

4
I am filled with anger - unrest victim tells SAHRC
I am filled with anger - unrest victim tells SAHRC

Africa-Press – South-Africa. Durban – Mbuso Xaba, a KwaMashu resident, says his life had changed after he was attacked during the July unrest, and he was filled with anger towards people of Indian descent.

Xaba was testifying before the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Tuesday at the Gateway Hotel in Umhlanga, Durban, as part of the commission’s investigation into the causes and effects of the July unrest.

Phoenix, and the surrounding areas of Bhambayi, Amaoti and Zwelitsha, were among the hardest hit by the violence which claimed about 36 lives.

Xaba told the commission that he had not been to the Phoenix area since July 12, when he and three other young friends from KwaMashu where ambushed and assaulted by vigilante groups who set up barricades along the Phoenix Highway.

He added that on the day of his ordeal, two police officers in plain clothes witnessed him being assaulted and told him to leave the area for his safety. Xaba said the media had been one sided in its portrayal of the unrest, only showing the looting but not the violence.

Phoenix, and the surrounding areas of Bhambayi, Amaoti and Zwelitsha, were among the hardest hit by the violence which claimed about 36 lives.

“When they blocked the car, that’s when more people came and started throwing stones at the vehicle and some were hitting it with axes. I was still confused, we were at the same spot. They were swearing at us. They said we were in their area to loot. They took me out and started hitting me with the baseball bat.

“When they took me out and hit me, they instructed me to kneel down. They were also hitting the young boys I was travelling with. I was shocked because we already said we were not there to loot. I even told them to check the vehicle.

“While hitting us, an old man (from the community) that first spoke to me was trying to stop them. Some of the boys I was with tried to run away and the men started shooting at them. They ran away but tried to call me. I was thinking what to tell the boy’s parents because I could not find them. I know the parents. It broke my heart.

“They said you are here to loot, we will loot you. A white polo came and parked while they were hitting me, it was occupied by two Indian policemen. I couldn’t tell at first because their vehicle was not marked, they were also in civilian clothes. I only knew they were police when I saw their bulletproof vests, Xaba said.

“The policemen told them to let go of me. I thought maybe they could escort me out of Phoenix. They said we cannot help you, all you can do is get in the vehicle and drive off because if you stay here you will end up dying. My car was damaged badly, it had bullet holes, the windows were broken. I was surprised that it still started,” he said.

Xaba said he managed to escape with the help of two police officers who offered to escort him out of the area as it was erupting with violence. He said he also saw an African lady, around 50 years-old, who was bleeding from several lacerations to her body.

Later Xaba found out that everyone who was with him on the day, had survived the attack.

“It angers me that there was not much justice shown after this incident. People were killed, had their cars destroyed. My life has changed so much. I have so much anger in me. I am angry at the the Indians for what they did. Why did they have to stop us for no reason. I am still afraid to go there. I still wonder how I survived. I’ve only been to Mount Edgecombe since the incident, not Phoenix,” Xaba said.

[email protected]

Political Bureau

For More News And Analysis About South-Africa Follow Africa-Press

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here