Hit for looking ‘like a thief’

2012-08-28 00:00

FOUR men driving a charcoal BMW are being sought by police after an alleged vigilante-style attack on two University of KwaZulu-Natal students in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Zwelibanzi Gwala (20) from the Grange was left bleeding after an attack by the men on Ridge Road. His friend Wonder Magoso was also assaulted and left unconscious moments later.

He had rushed to Gwala’s aid after hearing his friend was being attacked.

Magoso (20) said he is now also receiving threatening messages on his mother’s cellphone from the attackers, who stole his phone and found his mother’s phone number.

Gwala said while he and a group of students were preparing a presentation on Friday night, he escorted another friend to her residence when he was attacked. “I had just left my friend and was walking back to the house. While I was walking in Ridge Road a BMW came and stopped next to me. I just ran away as I was frightened.”

He said one man from the car then pursued him with a set of nunchuck fighting sticks, which were used to assault him.

Gwala said his attackers accused him of being a thief whom they were looking for in connection with a house robbery in the area and left him bleeding from his wounds.

He managed to run back to the friend he had escorted home, who sent text messages to the other students waiting for him at the house.

As the group of students arrived to see what had happened, Magoso was also attacked by the same men in the BMW.

Magoso said he was at the back of the group as one man jumped out from an office property in Ridge Road and chased him.

“He grabbed me, then picked me up and threw me into the air and let me fall to the ground. He started kicking me until I blacked out. I woke up in a metered taxi being taken to hospital by my friends.”

Ntando Khuzwayo, who also came to the rescue of his friend, said when he got to Magoso, who was unconscious, one of the men, who were described as tough white youngsters who looked like body builders, was searching him and pick pocketing him.

“This man said he was looking for an ID document so he could identify Magoso, but what surprised me is that his student card was on the floor as he was pick pocketing him. He did not want to answer the questions I was asking,” said Khuzwayo.

They later noticed that Magoso’s BlackBerry cellphone had been stolen.

Magoso also told The Witness that he has subsequently received a call from one of the suspects. “He said he knows everything about me and my mother as he has my cellphone.”

Another friend, Minenhle Mbandlwa, who was also at the scene said they do not feel safe as the suspects allegedly live in the same area.

“What worries me is that the cellphone has our presentation on it, and our pictures are in there, so they can easily identify us.”

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident.

They are investigating two cases of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a case of robbery. He said arrests are imminent.

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