'I WAS FORCED TO JUMP'

A ZIMBABWEAN told the Durban regional court how foreigners were forced to jump from a high-rise city building by people wielding bush knives in January this year.

A ZIMBABWEAN told the Durban regional court how foreigners were forced to jump from a high-rise city building by people wielding bush knives in January this year.

"When they forced me to jump from the fifth floor, I saw two other bodies lying motionless on the pavement. They pushed me and I landed on one of the bodies," Eugene Madonda testified yesterday.

Madonda said he was lucky to survive as Zimbabwean Victor Zowa, 24, and Tanzanian Omar Said, 25, fell to their death, he told the court.

He lost consciousness and awoke in hospital.

Madonda was testifying in the trial of ANC eThekwini municipality ward councillor Vusi Khoza, Patricia Ballantyne, Sean Thabo Jacobs and Mzokuthoba Mngonyama.

All the accused except Jacobs are charged with public violence and conspiracy to commit assault. Jacobs is charged with attempted murder.

Madonda told the court he had heard a crowd of about 100 people singing "we are tired of foreigners" as they approached the building.

"They were saying they were tired of amakwekwere (foreigners). They said they (foreigners) must be sent back to their homes and be taught a lesson," he testified.

Madonda thought the security guard would not allow the crowd to enter their building.

"I became scared when I heard them kicking doors and singing inside the apartment. They also forced me to open my door. They then started beating me with knobkerries and forced me to jump from the fifth floor," he said.

All four accused pleaded not guilty yesterday.

The trial continues. - Sapa

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