Trau­ma­tise

The mother who was ver­bally as­saulted at Spur wishes the whole de­ba­cle would just go away

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

Nico Viljoen should thank his lucky stars af­ter the woman he al­legedly ver­bally as­saulted at Spur at The Glen Shop­ping Cen­tre last Sun­day re­jected of­fers from law firms to take le­gal ac­tion against him on her be­half. The in­ci­dent, which sparked a pub­lic out­cry, has emo­tion­ally drained Le­bo­hang Mabuya.

She told City Press that lawyers wanted to help her pur­sue charges against Viljoen, but she felt ex­hausted and didn’t wish to sub­ject her child to more trauma in the form of a court pro­ce­dure.

Mabuya said she wasn’t plan­ning to take le­gal ac­tion against Viljoen.

City Press has also es­tab­lished that Viljoen may have as­saulted Mabuya over a “fight” be­tween their chil­dren, which seem­ingly never even took place.

CCTV footage from the play area at Spur at The Glen, which City Press has seen, shows the two girls play­ing with each other.

In the footage, Mabuya’s daugh­ter is seen walk­ing down the stairs to­wards the play area fol­lowed by Viljoen’s daugh­ter. The pair moves around the play area and at some point can’t be seen by the cam­era.

Mabuya’s daugh­ter then emerges and walks out of the play area with Viljoen’s daugh­ter close be­hind, but she doesn’t exit the room.

Mabuya’s daugh­ter re­turns and the two girls con­tinue play­ing, again mov­ing out of cam­era view. They emerge again and exit the play area with nei­ther look­ing dis­tressed. No child min­der ap­pears to be present.

This week Mabuya said she wasn’t cer­tain what hap­pened in the play area. She said her daugh­ter told her that a girl had pinched her in the play area.

“I told her to move to a dif­fer­ent side and not pay at­ten­tion to that girl. She came back again, say­ing the girl didn’t want them play­ing with any­thing in the area and was both­er­ing them.

“I told her to sit down, but af­ter a while she went back. She re­turned again say­ing the girl had slapped her and she had hit her back,” Mabuya said.

Mabuya said she doesn’t know what the truth was. “In fact, I don’t want to know be­cause I am tired of this whole thing,” she said.

She said had no idea the video she posted on so­cial me­dia would go vi­ral. “The re­al­ity hit me on Tues­day when calls started com­ing in. With each call, I was left think­ing what [the in­ci­dent] had done to my kids, who wit­nessed such hate and pro­fan­ity.”

Mabuya, a nurse by pro­fes­sion, said the in­ci­dent af­fected her 10-year-old son.

“When I come back from work later than usual, he asks me if the white guy from the restau­rant had come for me. When I tell him no, he says he is scared that he will come to my work­place and as­sault me.”

She said she had not taken her child for coun­selling. How­ever, if he con­tin­ued be­ing with­drawn, she would take him to a psy­chol­o­gist.

Spur has of­fered to pay for coun­selling for Mabuya and all the chil­dren who wit­nessed the vi­o­lent in­ci­dent.

In cell­phone video footage that went vi­ral last week, Viljoen con­fronted Mabuya, de­mand­ing she dis­ci­pline her child who had, ac­cord­ing to him, hit his daugh­ter. At the time, Mabuya was din­ing with sev­eral chil­dren.

When Mabuya brushed him off, he grabbed the lit­tle girl’s arm and pulled her to­wards him. Mabuya moved quickly to pull the child back. She stood up and the two ar­gued and swore at each other, with Viljoen threat­en­ing to phys­i­cally as­sault her.

He then walked away, but im­me­di­ately re­turned af­ter Mabuya con­tin­ued to swear at him. On his re­turn, he lifted and shook the ta­ble, spilling food and drinks on the chil­dren and Mabuya’s sis­ter, who was seated at the other end of the ta­ble.

De­spite many peo­ple sup­port­ing Mabuya for stand­ing up to Viljoen, she wasn’t proud of what hap­pened.

“I don’t ap­prove of the lan­guage I used. I felt cor­nered and had to stand up for my chil­dren be­cause this man was bul­ly­ing us,” she said.

“If I had sat and not re­sponded, I would have failed my chil­dren be­cause they would think that’s how peo­ple should be­have to­wards them and they should ac­cept it,” she said.

Ef­forts to reach Viljoen were fruit­less. His phone was switched off and his so­cial-me­dia ac­count was shut down.

PHOTO: SCREEN GRAB

SPUR OF THE MO­MENT A screen grab from a video of a man threat­en­ing to at­tack a woman in­side a Spur restau­rant at The Glen Shop­ping Cen­tre in Jo­han­nes­burg

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