FOUR men were badly assaulted by a mob after the car in which they weretravelling bumped into the back of another car.
Sydney Shoba, Mandla Mthimunye, Jeffrey Mthimunye and Mxolisi Skosana said they were beaten by a group of people after their car bumped into another vehicle near Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga on Saturday night.
They have been admitted to Mmametlhake Hospital.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Mthimunye said yesterday: "After we bumped that car, the woman driver came out and fired a shot in the air with her pistol. She told us she was a cop and that we had messed with the wrong person."
The incident happened at about 7pm on the Battalion Road between Thabana and Siyabuswa.
"Shoba, who was our driver, got out in an attempt to check the damage when a group of people turned on him. They began jumping on our car's bonnet and Skosana fled when the group tried to open the doors."
"While kicking us, they were swearing at us."
Mthimunye said the woman called her colleagues and claimed that they were driving a stolen car.
Skosana, who was hiding in nearby bushes, came out when the police arrived, hoping they would intervene. But they allegedly turned on him.
"I was relieved when I saw the police van stopping. I approached them, wanting to tell them what had happened but they beat me, saying I was part of the gang. They were not interested in listening to me," Skosana said.
He said after the beating, they were loaded into the back of a police van and taken to the police station.
"After more than three hours of pain and bleeding, an ambulance arrived and we were taken to Mmametlhake Hospital.
I just can't believe that I am alive. What those people did was very wrong but for the police to watch us being beaten was even worse."
The families of the four have laid assault charges at Vaalbank police station.
Police are investigating the incident.