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Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Another racist attack at Test


Herman Scholtz

Johannesburg - Yet another alleged racial incident took place during the Tri-Nations match between the Springboks and the Wallabies on Saturday.

On Monday SA Rugby offered a reward of R10 000 for the identification of three men who are said to have assaulted a black woman.

No one has yet been identified in the incident, during which three men apparently twisted Ms Ziningi Shibambo's (30) arm behind her back and made racist remarks.

But Steven Parker (31) of Fourways, Johannesburg, said on Tuesday this was not the only incident during Saturday's game.

Two white men apparently attacked a black man in the beer garden outside Coca-Cola Park.

"At about 19:30 I saw two men hitting a helpless black man while the rest were laughing. I asked them what their problem was and they said the black man had stolen their beer.

I offered to buy them some more beer so that they would relax, but they weren't interested," Parker said.

The two white men, allegedly a father and his son-in-law, confronted Parker. According to Parker they said: "We are all whites here and now you're taking the kaffir's side."

Parker then hit the older man and a fight broke out.

Two members of the police broke up the fight a few minutes later, but by then four men were already lying on the ground.

Black men had raped his fiancée

"I didn't hit them to hurt them. But we must get rid of these people. They hit him because he was black," Parker said.

After the emotions had subsided, the son-in-law apparently told Parker in tears that black men had raped his fiancée.

"I told him he should go for counselling. That black man was not the one that raped his fiancée."

Ricky Meyer, the operational manager of the stadium, said they are aware of the incident and are also trying to identify the offenders.

Parker took some cell phone photos of the incident, and these will now be used in the investigation.

Meyer said claims that the stadium did not provide enough security guards for the match were unfounded.

"There were about 800 regular guards. Then there were another 175 metro police members and 260 police."

Saturday's match served as a trial run for contingency plans for the 2010 soccer world cup tournament.

Several people contacted Beeld to say that these types of incidents are "normal" and are unnecessarily attributed to racism.

Johan Bekker (27) from Krugersdorp related how he was attacked by two black men at the same stadium a few weeks ago.

"They called me a white bastard and threw bricks at me, among other things. I was in hospital for two days and my hand was fractured in four places. It still looks like a CV joint on my hand.

"But no one said anything then about racism," Bekker said.

SA Rugby spokesperson Andy Colquhoun said they are not making an exception with the latest incident.

"We would have been just as upset if the woman was white. Unfortunately there is a culture where people just keep quiet about these incidents."