Case of lawyer assaulted in "racial attack" finally goes to court

FILE IMAGE: Chairperson of the National Arts Council and lawyer Hartley Sandy Ngoato who was allegedly assaulted and verbally abused.
FILE IMAGE: Chairperson of the National Arts Council and lawyer Hartley Sandy Ngoato who was allegedly assaulted and verbally abused.

The assault case of the National Arts Council (NAC) chairperson Hartley Ngoato will finally be heard on Thursday at Brits magistrate's court.

Ngoato, a prominent lawyer, was severely assaulted and verbally abused in August last year in what witnesses described as a racially motivated incident.

The attack happened at the Schoemansville Oewer Klub Resort on the shores of the Hartbeespoort Dam. Ngoato sustained severe head bruises, cuts to his face, leg and hands were bruised and swollen.

Another dam user, Tiaan Eberson, faces a charge of assault even though Ngoato was allegedly assaulted by more people.

Thembelani Mpakati, who was with Ngoato when the incident happened,  said  the altercation started when Ngoato was reversing his bakkie to hook his boat on.

“Mr Ngoato invited me to join him and his friends for a boat ride. After an afternoon well spent cruising around the Dam, we returned to the Schoemansville Oewer Klub. I jumped off the boat with Ngoato to go and assist him to reverse his bakkie. As he was reversing, a white man approached Ngoato’s bakkie and banged on the door. He opened the door to ask what the problem was. Before he could even speak, Ebersohn started shouting.”

“From what I could hear, Ebersohn was accusing Ngoato of speeding. Ebersohn kept shouting F**k these blacks!! They must go away! He was joined by other white men and  soon the entire situation was very heated and  aggressive."

Mpakati added that Ebersohn pushed Ngoato onto the ground and started beating him up.

“Ebersohn smashed Ngoato’s head against the concrete ground several times.”

Ngoato opened a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, while Ebersohn also opened a case of assault.

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