Makanda actor beaten in alleged 'homophobic' attack
Celebrations after the Springbok's world cup win came to a painful end for a Makanda actor who was brutally beaten in what he described as a homophobic attack.
Sisonke Yafele told TimesLIVE he was walking home with friends in the early hours of Sunday morning when they passed a couple standing outside their home.
“It was around 3am. We were jolly and celebrating the Bokke win. The guy said we are talking shit and my friend and I told him to leave us alone, and we just brushed it off. The guy then said he will 'show me'.
"A few minutes later I felt a stick hitting me from the back. I turned around and struggled with him. The woman he was with slapped me in my face, and I asked them what we did wrong," Yafele said.
Yafele said he did not expect to be assaulted based on his sexual orientation.
“I didn’t know they hated me because these are people I see and greet regularly, and they never showed any signs of hate, which is why at first I thought they were mistaking me with somebody else.
“Because these are people from my neighbourhood, I started saying 'guys, it’s me'. They replied by saying 'shut up you fucking m****e. We know who you are and today we will beat the gayness out of you',” Yafele said.
He said his female friend ran off because she saw a group of people approaching them.
“I heard her scream and tell me there are people coming. As I tried to run, one of them tripped me and I fell. They started kicking and beating me up. I even pissed myself. I was bleeding and in so much pain.
“More and more people came by. By then I was swollen around my eyes and I couldn’t tell what was happening. But I could hear them tell new attackers that I had tried to rape a girl, and the person would join in.
"Another person would ask before joining in, and they would tell them I robbed someone. Anything to get a mob,” Yafele said.
In an unrelated incident, Yafele's friend, Ayanda Nondlwana, was stabbed and died close to the scene less than a month ago.
“I heard them say I will follow my friend. This was so painful for me,” he said.
He was taken to hospital at around 4am, and is recovering in hospital.
Police spokesperson Capt Mali Govender confirmed that a case of assault had been opened.
“We are investigating," she said.