Victim of alleged Witbank race row has no recollection of attack

Mthunzi Sibuyi‚ the young man who sustained severe head injuries after being attacked in an alleged race row in Witbank at the weekend‚ has trouble recalling the attack.
Mthunzi Sibuyi‚ the young man who sustained severe head injuries after being attacked in an alleged race row in Witbank at the weekend‚ has trouble recalling the attack.
Image: SUPPLIED

Mthunzi Sibuyi‚ the young man who sustained severe head injuries after being attacked in an alleged race row in Witbank at the weekend‚ had trouble recalling the attack.

On Wednesday morning his uncle‚ Mandla Mabuza‚ said he had on Tuesday accompanied police to a Pretoria hospital‚ where the young man had been recovering after sustaining a head fracture‚ a clot on his brain and internal bleeding.

“The police interviewed him and he said he only remembers being inside the restaurant and he cannot recall what happened outside. He only recalls waking up in the Pretoria hospital but the police did take a statement from him‚” said Mabuza.

The 21-year-old University of Pretoria student was alleged to have been attacked on Saturday by a white man outside a pub in Witbank‚ where he and a group of interracial friends had attended a birthday party.

According to Sibuyi’s friends‚ the man and his three sons had earlier voiced their disapproval of the mixed race group.

In a Facebook post about the incident‚ written by one of Sibuyi’s friends‚ he suggested that Sibuyi’s attacker and his sons had provoked them.

“When the old man saw our black friend … dancing with a white girl he made remarks about k***ers getting comfortable with the white girls! Him and his sons kept on pushing us around on the dance floor and being unnecessary and sexually harassing the girls that were with us up to the point where we all decided to leave because they were making the night unpleasant for everyone‚” Sibuyi’s friend wrote.

He claimed that Sibuyi was attacked outside the pub as the group of friends were saying their goodbyes.

“When this … fellow realised we were leaving he proceeded to try follow us out and at the door without any provocation from any of us he took a cheap shot and assaulted Mthunzi and then Mthunzi fell and hit his head on the concrete‚ he is currently in ICU with bleeding on the brain‚” he wrote.

On Tuesday‚ Sergeant David Ratau said that police had traced the suspect through his car registration. The man had contacted police and indicated that he would hand himself over. He still had not done so by Wednesday morning.

“We have all his information because we had his car registration. We just need to hear from the investigating officer about why he isn’t in custody yet‚” said Ratau.

The suspect is expected to face at least two charges – one of attempted murder and another of sexual harassment. Meanwhile‚ Sibuyi was discharged from hospital on Tuesday night.

“He is still a bit dizzy and has a bit of swelling behind his right ear but he is back in Witbank‚” said Mabuza.

Speaking on Tuesday‚ Sibuyi described his shock after hearing of the attack on his late brother’s son. He was rushed from a Witbank hospital to another in Pretoria.

“We got to Pretoria after 2am and they tried to stabilise him until around 6am. The scans indicated that he had a fracture and a clot on his brain and internal bleeding‚” said Mabuza.

He struggled to understand what could have led to the attack.

“I know how he conducts himself. He would not have aggravated an elderly person. He doesn’t see colour. He sees white people as people and has grown up having them as friends‚” said Mabuza.

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