Outcry after racist attacks at town mall

ALBERTON, south of Johannesburg, has been labelled a racist town after recent attacks on store workers and car guards by drunk locals.

ALBERTON, south of Johannesburg, has been labelled a racist town after recent attacks on store workers and car guards by drunk locals.

Lindi Phahane, who works at Pep Stores at the Alberton City Mall, was allegedly assaulted at the weekend by three white men.

Phahane, 42, of Rondebult, says she was waiting outside the centre for the store to open when the men approached her.

"One of the men slapped me across the face, and I could see that they were all drunk," Phahane says.

She says the group started laughing at her when she cried out in pain.

"The security guards were called and the man was taken into their office where I phoned the police.

"I know that I was beaten up because I am black and a woman."

According to a doctor's report obtained after the attack, Phahane suffered from whiplash.

"It is beyond my understanding that there are still racist people in our country," Phahane says.

Captain Raphulu, who is in charge of Alberton police station, said the man who allegedly klapped Phahane was arrested and appeared in court on Monday.

Another store worker at the mall, Olefile Makhutle, said he has also been called by the "k" name

"Some people come into the shop and speak to us in Afrikaans.

"When we tell them that we don't understand the language they get angry.

"I was also called a kaffir by a customer a few weeks ago."

Peter Britz, a car guard in the area, said sometimes when the troublemakers became drunk they chased car guards around and beat them up for no reason.

"Last year when I was looking for a job, I was picked up by men in a bakkie," Britz said. "They took me to a nearby dam and beat me up with a steel rod."

Captain Raphulu said he was not aware of any racist attack other than the one on Phahane at the mall.

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