‘I attacked to defend myself’

2012-09-28 00:00

ONE of two brothers charged with uttering a racist insult and assaulting local club-goer Likwando Mbunwae outside Crowded House nightclub last year said he had to defend himself when the victim drew a knife.

Nicholas du Plooy told the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday that when Mbunwae invited him to “go one on one” with him outside the nightclub, he took off his shirt in a bid to “scare him and make him back off”.

He said Mbunwae reached into his back pocket and took out a knife.

Moments later his older brother, Jean-Pierre, rushed over and tried to punch Mbunwae, but missed. Mbunwae tried to retaliate. He also missed.

Nicholas said he hit Mbunwae, threw him to the ground and “got him in a head lock so that he couldn’t move”.

He said he did not assault Mbunwae further and the fight was broken up by three club bouncers.

Under cross-examination by state prosecutor Esmeralda Royappen, Nicholas said he had undergone a knee operation shortly before the incident and could not have run away.

“I had no alternative except to defend myself,” he said.

He could not say what became of the knife that Mbunwae had.

He and his brother Jean-Pierre have pleaded not guilty to all charges arising from the incident in the early hours of September 2.

Both brothers denied in evidence before magistrate Linda Lewis that they called Mbunwae a k****r, had impaired his dignity, or that they had assaulted him with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm.

Nicholas told the court that he had met Mbunwae inside the nightclub earlier that evening, and his manner had been “unpleasant”.

Du Plooy said he had reported to a bouncer that Mbunwae was armed with a knife and that it “wasn’t right”.

The bouncer subsequently searched Mbunwae and recovered a knuckle-duster and a silver “butterfly” knife in his possession.

Du Plooy said as he and his brother were leaving the club in the early hours he saw Mbunwae again and he asked him: “Are you the white trash that told Jack to take my stuff?”

That’s when the fight ensued.

Jean-Pierre gave a similar version to his brother.

The case was adjourned until November 7 for further evidence.

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