National Arts Council Chairperson, Hartley Sandy Ngoato has survived an assault at the weekend that has been described as a ”brutal racist attack”.
Ngoato, who is nursing severe injuries to his head said through a family spokesperson – Mmeli Mdluli – that he was assaulted on Sunday in Hartbeespoort, North West.
“Ngoato was severely assaulted and verbally abused by white Hartbeespoort residents in what a witness describes as a racially motivated incident at the Oewer Klub Resort on the shores of the Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West Province of South Africa,” said Mdluli on Thursday as he recounted the horrific attack that left the lawyer with gushes on his head.
Thembelani Mpakati, a candidate attorney at Ngoato Attorneys, who was with Ngoato on Sunday, said Ngoato was physically and verbally attacked by a mob of white men. They attacked Ngoato as he was reversing his bakkie to hook his boat, which he had taken out onto the dam with a group of friends.
Mpakati said he was able to identify one of the men.
During the attack, Ngoato suffered a severe laceration to the head, bruises, and cuts to his face. His left leg was left with an open wound and his right hand swollen.
Mdluli said the assault came at a time when racial tensions in Hartbeespoort were at a peak following vehement opposition by the predominant white Afrikaner community to applications by black people to lease land from the state to conduct business along the shores of the Hartbeespoort Dam.
He said Ngoato was one of the black local businesspeople scouting for available state land for lease “upon which he wishes to expand his businesses”.
Police could not be immediately reached for comment.
– African News Agency (ANA)