Witbank youngster in hospital with head injuries after alleged race row

09 January 2018 - 14:17 By Naledi Shange
Mthunzi Sibuyi is recovering in hospital after being allegedly assaulted outside a Witbank pub, in an apparent racist incident.
Mthunzi Sibuyi is recovering in hospital after being allegedly assaulted outside a Witbank pub, in an apparent racist incident.
Image: Supplied

Twenty-one-year-old Mthunzi Sibuyi from Witbank in Mpumalanga is recovering in a Pretoria hospital after sustaining critical head injuries following a beating‚ allegedly by a white man who did not approve of his interracial friendships.

A Facebook post about the incident‚ written by one of Sibuya’s friends has gone viral on social media.

Sibuyi’s friend alleged that they were provoked by a white man and his three sons as they attended a 21st birthday party at a popular pub in Witbank.

“These folks were also there getting drunk‚ provoking us and making racist remarks because our friendship group is large and very racially diverse. When the old man saw our black friend Mthunzi Sibuyi dancing with a white girl he made remarks about k***ers getting comfortable with the white girls! Him and his sons kept on pushing us around on the dance floor and being unnecessary [sic] and sexually harassing the girls that were with us up to the point where we all decided to leave because they were making the night unpleasant for everyone‚” Sibuyi’s friend wrote on Facebook.

The group of friends gathered outside to say their goodbyes.

“When this… fellow realised we were leaving he proceeded to try follow us out and at the door without any provocation from any of us he took a cheap shot and assaulted Mthunzi and then Mthunzi fell and hit his head on the concrete‚ he is currently in ICU with bleeding on the brain‚” he wrote.

A scuffle between Sibuyi’s friends and the man then broke out with security guards pulling them apart.

“At this point all his sons came outside with his wife‚ they got in their car and wanted to drive away when [the man] attempted to drive over one of our friends‚ Yasin Yildirim‚” the friend added.

Sibuya’s uncle‚ Mandla Mabuza‚ told TimesLIVE that he was shocked to hear of the attack.

“At around 00.40‚ I got a call from the Cosmos Hospital‚ saying that my son [sic] was seriously injured and was being transferred to Unitas Hospital in Pretoria‚” said Mabuza.

Mabuza rushed to the hospital where he followed the ambulance to Pretoria.

“We got to Pretoria after 2am and they tried to stabilise him until around 6am. The scans indicated that he had a fracture and a clot on his brain and internal bleeding‚” said Mabuza.

He was struggling to understand what his late brothers’ son could have done to deserve the attack.

“I know how he conducts himself. He would not have aggravated an elderly person. He doesn’t see colour. He sees white people as people and has grown up having them as friends‚” said Mabuza.

“Luckily he is now out of the woods. Initially he was in the ICU but was transferred to the high care unit‚” said Mabuza.

He has since opened a case on his nephew’s behalf.

Sergeant David Ratau of the Witbank police station said they were yet to charge the suspect.

“He said he would hand himself over with his lawyer‚” said Ratau.

The suspect is expected to face at least two charges – one of attempted murder and another of sexual harassment.

Witbank’s SA Community Crime Watch group‚ which was called to the scene was assisting police in its investigation.