At­tack on ad­vo­cate con­demned

BLF mem­bers ac­cused of punch­ing vic­tim

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - METRO - SHAIN GERMANER [email protected]

THE Jo­han­nes­burg Bar Coun­cil has con­demned a “vi­cious racial at­tack” on one of its mem­bers at the High Court in Joburg, claim­ing the court’s se­cu­rity team is “wholly in­ad­e­quate”.

Bar coun­cil chair­per­son Kameshni Pil­lay said a fe­male ad­vo­cate was at­tacked at the court on Wed­nes­day by Black First Land First (BLF) mem­bers, who were stag­ing a protest out­side.

Pil­lay said the ad­vo­cate was ap­par­ently part of an ar­gu­ment with a se­cu­rity guard, and the BLF be­came in­volved, threat­en­ing and shout­ing at her. When the woman sub­se­quently went in­side the court­house, the BLF mem­bers fol­lowed her into a lift, where the group of men and women be­gan punch­ing her in the face, telling her that “white blood would be spilt”.

It was only when the lift door opened that she was pulled out and able to es­cape, though the group of BLF mem­bers be­gan ven­tur­ing into the var­i­ous court­rooms try­ing to find her. The ad­vo­cate ul­ti­mately had to be “smug­gled” out of the build­ing, ac­cord­ing to Pil­lay.

Pil­lay said the or­gan­i­sa­tion would work with the po­lice to iden­tify the at­tack­ers and bring them to jus­tice.

“At a sys­temic level, it is of con­cern that the at­tack oc­curred within the court build­ing and that the se­cu­rity ar­range­ments in place ap­pear to be wholly in­ad­e­quate. The at­tack is also a part of a grow­ing pat­tern of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity per­pe­trated in and around the court precinct which has seen prac­ti­tion­ers and judges be­ing mugged and robbed,” a state­ment read.

BLF pres­i­dent Andile Mngxi­tama said his mem­bers had re­ported that the woman in­volved was a “racist” who was “try­ing to throw her weight around”. He said that racial com­ments were al­legedly made in the el­e­va­tor, and that only women were in­volved in the phys­i­cal at­tack. While the coun­cil has de­nied this, say­ing that men and women were in­volved in the at­tack, Mngxi­tama said he en­cour­aged his mem­bers to deal with racists, even if it meant be­com­ing phys­i­cal.

Re­gard­ing the claims that se­cu­rity at the court was in­suf­fi­cient, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice was un­able to re­spond to queries from the Satur­day Star yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

HLELOKUHLE Qubelo gets toys and treats from Belinda Smit, who was vis­it­ing the Tyger­berg Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal. The hos­pi­tal gave more than 400 kids in the wards gifts spon­sored by var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions. | AR­MAND HOUGH African News Agency (ANA)

RE­JOICE Zin­dove gets toys from Santa and his helpers yes­ter­day.

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