‘Racial attack victim’ is racist – defence lawyer

2014-08-04 17:35

The student who was allegedly assaulted by two fellow students at the University of the Free State is a racist, the court has heard.

“Your evidence is indicative of your racial attitude,” Johann Nel, for the two students, said in cross-examination in the Bloemfontein Regional Court today.

Cobus Muller faces four charges, including reckless driving, crimen injuria, attempted murder, and assault, while Charl Blom faces a charge of assault.

The State alleges the two students tried to run over fellow student Muzi Gwebu with their bakkie on the campus in February this year.

When Gwebu confronted the two moments afterwards, he was allegedly assaulted.

Nel submitted that Muller denied all the allegations against him and that the two, in terms of the assault charge, had only tried to protect themselves against an aggressive Gwebu.

“You are the racist here,” Nel submitted to Gwebu after the alleged victim could not say why he refused help from fellow white students after the apparent assault.

“You are here to defend racists,” Gwebu replied, adding that Nel might have “interests of the same calibre” about him.

Earlier in cross-examination, Gwebu testified that skin colour was not the reason why he did not accept help from white students when they offered.

“If skin colour is not the reason, what other reason for your distrust might there be,” asked Nel.

“You did not approach them for help or ask them.”

Gwebu said he could feel and see that he was racially under attack. He did not trust them.

Gwebu also told the court he forgot to tell police initially that he was severely insulted on the night of the alleged incident.

He alleged in evidence-in-chief he could hear the driver of the bakkie call him a “k****r” just before it hit him.

“You were gravely demeaned, you testified,” said Nel.

Gwebu confirmed.

Nel asked him why he did not mention the derogatory word used against him to police on the night.

Gwebu first told the court he omitted it and later blamed the police for leaving it out of the statement.

“Why, this is [now] the main issue you have about the night,” asked Nel.

“I forgot about it,” replied Gwebu.

The case continues.

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