Spray-paint victim speaks about 'humiliating' attack

2015-01-14 09:22
Spray-paint victim Bilaz Asan. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

Spray-paint victim Bilaz Asan. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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Amanda Khoza, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - The wounds on Bilaz Asan’s body may be healing, but he says the road to forgiving his attackers is going to be a long one.

The Malawian father of four was beaten senseless last Wednesday, allegedly by two men who forced him to strip naked, soaked him in paint thinners and then sprayed his entire body with white enamel car paint.

Although he is grateful that the two men have been arrested for the attack, he said he will never forget the torture and humiliation he endured, allegedly at their hands.

Dispute over payment

The 37-year-old panel beater said everything was going smoothly at work until two men walked into his place of employment on Violet Road in Northdale.

“There was a dispute over payment and they beat up the mechanic who was working on their vehicle, and then turned to me,” alleged Asan, speaking from his cramped room in Haniville.

He said he was confused over why the axe-wielding men allegedly began hitting him all over his body.

“I was crying and screaming for help, but no one came to help me,” said Asan.

The beating continued and just when he thought his attackers were done, they allegedly forced him to take his clothes off.

“They poured paint thinners on my body and I felt like I was on fire.

“They then went for the air compressor and sprayed paint all over my body,” he said.

'I ran for my life'

 A neighbour heard the commotion came to assist, but he too was allegedly beaten.

“I tried to run away, I even climbed on the roof, but they came after me and continued to beat me. I thought they were going to kill me,” said Asan.

Another neighbour came to assist and that’s when “I ran for my life”, said Asan.

He bumped into his colleague Sam Abdulsamad, 30, who rushed him to Northdale Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.

“The nurses tried to remove the paint, but they couldn’t, so they told me to go home.

“When we got home, Sam came and helped me scrape the paint off using his nails. It was painful, but I couldn’t cry because I am a man,” said Asan.


He said he was glad the paint was finally off because he was tired of being ridiculed by members of his community.

“Neighbours were looking into my window, wanting to see what I looked like; they all felt sorry for me. Even though the paint is gone, my body is still burning from the thinners,” said Asan, who is still nursing his many wounds.

Asked about how he felt about his attackers, Asan said: “It was a near-death experience and I want them to be punished for what they did to me.

“I will never forget that moment for as long as I live,” he said.

Nevertheless, he was grateful to be alive and thanked those who had supported him.

“Thank you to everyone and to the police for making arrests. I am really grateful,” said Asan.

In court

Meanwhile, the second alleged attacker appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Shadrack Wayne Naidoo, 28, faced similar charges to his co-accused, Avikar Lutchman, 27.

The two men will both appear in court again on 22 January on charges of assault, aggravated assault and attempted murder.

Magistrate Ntsoaki Ndawondwe told the court both men will remain in police custody until then.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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