Foreigners 'hit over girls'

THE men who attacked foreigners leading to the death of two men, accused them of taking their girlfriends and selling drugs, the Durban magistrate's court heard yesterday.

THE men who attacked foreigners leading to the death of two men, accused them of taking their girlfriends and selling drugs, the Durban magistrate's court heard yesterday.

State witness Siphesihle Msimang told the court a mob thathad forced foreigners to jump from a high rise building had accused the foreigners of taking their girlfriends, selling drugs and of burglary.

The foreigners jumped from a building in Albert Park in January 2009, trying to escape a crowd of more than 100 people wielding bush knives.

Zimbabwean Victor Zowa, 24, and Tanzanian Omar Said, 25, fell to their death.

In the dock were Patricia Ballantyne, eThekwini municipality ANC ward councillor Vusi Khoza and Mzokuthoba Mngonyama, who face charges of public violence and conspiracy to commit assault. Sean Thabo Jacobs faces an attempted murder charge.

Msimang told the court she was showering when she heard a lot of noise from the mob kicking at doors.

When she went to investigate she met Jacobs, who told her that they were chasing foreigners.

"It happened very quickly. I was very scared and I went back to my room," she told the court.

She said she saw one person falling and others trying to climb down the building using the gutter, which later collapsed from the weight of people desperate to escape death.

Msimang said some people in the mob were wearing hoods to hide their faces.

She said "father councillor" (Khoza) was among the mob but said she did not know whether he had attacked any foreigners.

The trial was adjourned to August 10 because Msimang was not feeling well and could not be cross-examined. - Sapa

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