UPDATE: Mall assault – Mayor responds

A photo taken inside a restaurant after the incident.

Mzi Khumalo, the Executive Mayor of the Rand West City Local Municipality (RWCLM) has said that the assault on a man that was captured on video at Tambotie Mall can easily be construed to be a racial attack.

Randfontein Police are investigating a case of assault after a video showing a man being assaulted on Saturday, 4 November went viral on social media. The incident apparently took place at about 5pm. Police are also appealing for witnesses to the assault to come forward.

Khumalo released a statement on the incident, saying: “The RWCLM is deeply disgusted at the reported attack which took place at Tambotie Mall recently.

We want to join scores of South Africans and various progressive organisations in condemning the brutal and barbaric attack on the victim.

Read the initial article here: WATCH: Social media outrage after mall assault

“Notwithstanding the fact that the attack on the victim can easily be construed as a racial attack, no citizen should ever be subjected to such violence and aggression. The callous attack has already been proven to be racially divisive in local communities in our City, Province and the country, as highlighted on social media.”

The council wishes to point out that the victim is still alive, and to reiterate that the disinformation that the victim has passed on needs to be vehemently discouraged.

“There can be no justification for the amount of violence and aggression seen from the video. What is further distressing is that the aggressors had no qualms about beating a defenseless individual in the presence of his wife.

“This incident should not be seen as an isolated incident, noting what has been experienced in our beloved country recently. We must step up our effort in campaigning against racism, and vigorously implement our country’s National Action Plan on combating racial discrimination,” said Khumalo.

He added that after 23 years of constitutional democracy, such incidents have no place in our society where tolerance and common brotherhood should at all times be promoted among all our citizens. Each incident of this nature drags us further away from the country envisaged in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of South Africa.

The Tambotie Mall assault case has been provisionally withdrawn as the court has mandated the police to secure more statements from the victim and witnesses, with the intention of re-opening the case in due course.

“The most disheartening statement we gathered is that a fellow black man tripped the victim when he made an effort to run away from a group of males who were assaulting him,” said Khumalo.

Also Read: Woman assaulted in shopping mall

The municipality’s concern is that many of those who witnessed the incident are failing to come forward with their evidence. Even the person who was trying to assist the victim apparently does not want to come forward and provide information.

“We therefore want to take this moment and appeal to all those who took video footage to present their statements to the police, as well as all the persons who saw what transpired on that ill-fated day to also do so. It defeats our purpose to seek justice in this matter while we have witnesses who are not prepared to provide information,” said Khumalo.

Khumalo will initiate a meeting with the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, the Honourable Sizakele Nkosi Malobane, to prioritise and act on this case and on other similar reported cases.

The council has also encouraged the management of Tambotie Mall to work with the police, and provide all materials that could help in resolving the case quickly, including the video footage captured by the mall’s security services, to them. Failure to do so will result in the Mall and security company becoming accomplices in the case. The mall’s management has also been encouraged to beef up security throughout the mall, for the sake of the shoppers, the shopkeepers and the staff, who stand to lose their jobs if people avoid using the mall for fear of being attacked.

Khumalo concluded his statement with these words: “We caution communities to manage their anger and work within the law. We have full confidence in the justice system of the country and we are certain that justice will be seen to be done in this instance. Racism has no space in Rand West City … as it has [the] potential to set all of us back …

We [also] appeal to our communities to cease spreading false rumours that the victim is deceased, as [this] further traumatises the victim and his family”.

The police are appealing for community members who have more information about the case to contact the service officer, Captain Smith on 082 568 4583.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected]  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites

Roodepoort Record

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Nadine Mare

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