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By unknown | Sep 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

Ziningi Shibambo will never set her foot at a rugby game again after she was roughed up and insulted because of the colour of her skin.

Shibambo was at Ellis Park Stadium on Saturday to watch the Tri-Nations game between South Africa and Australia when three men accosted her.

Shibambo, who phoned Radio 702 yesterday complaining about the treatment she received, was still bitter about the humiliation when Sowetan spoke to her.

"I was coming from the toilet when one of three men I came across pushed me.

"I thought it was a mistake until all three of them started swearing at me and called me a k*****."

Shibambo said the men told her that, like other black people, she was not welcome at their sport.

"They became very aggressive after I told them that I have every right to watch any sport. They said that I was a stupid black woman like the coach who interferes in a sport of white people.

"One of them kept poking his finger into my face and asking: 'what the f**k are you blacks doing here?'

"They had beers, reeked of alcohol and they did not look sober at all," she said.

Passing rugby spectators ignored her as the three continued harassing her.

"I was crying and trying to defend myself from the abuse; nobody came to my rescue.

"It was very painful to be treated shabbily like that because I am a black woman."

After the incident she did not return to her seat. She called her husband who came to pick her up.

"I will never go to a rugby match again, never again," she said.

Acting chief executive of the stadium, Peet Buys, said the incident was regrettable.

"This type of racism cannot be tolerated and we regret that it happened to her. We have set up an appointment with her to express our regret," said Buys.

He said there were plans to instal a system that would alert staff about similar incidents during a game.

The SA Rugby Union has offered a R10000 reward to spectators to help identify Shibambo's attackers.

Saru president Oregan Hoskins said the incident was despicable, adding that all avenues would be followed to identify "the three white males who racially abused and assaulted a black female Springbok fan".

The Human Rights Commission condemned the attack, saying it was reminiscent of racism.


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