Police in South Africa are investigating a case of assault after a group of white men allegedly attacked two black teens at the Maselspoort Resort outside Bloemfontein on Christmas Day.
According to the victims’ sister, Tumii, the white men tried to prevent her brothers from using what they claim is an ‘only whites’ swimming pool at the resort.
“Family came to spend the day @ MASELSPOORT RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTRE in Free State. My brothers were attacked by these grown men because they are apparently not allowed in the pool as it’s reserved for the “white people” here. The Oranje-Vrystraat we love Merry Christmas,” she wrote.
A video of the racially-motivated confrontation she posted on Twitter has gone viral on social media.
In the video, a white man is seen slapping a 13-year-old boy, who is then thrown back into the pool when he tries to get up. The man then appears to try to choke the 18 year old.
Attempts to break up the confrontation fail and the situation escalates when another man pulls the younger teen’s hair.
A scuffle then ensues with one man pushing one of the boys into the pool and seemingly trying to keep his head under water.
The video ends when a man drags the older black teen by the head in the pool.
Free State police spokesperson, Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, in a statement said police were called out on Christmas Day, at 15:00 to “a fighting incident taking place at a holiday resort in Bloemfontein”.
“On arrival members found the groups already dispersed and were approached by a parent of one of the victims who alleged that his two teenage boys, aged 18 and 13, were assaulted by a group of white males over the usage of a swimming pool,” said Makhele.
“Glen police are investigating a case of common assault, and the docket will be taken to court for decision. The suspects, who are all white males as seen on the video circulating, were warned to appear in court on a date to be set by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s court,” Makhele added.
Free State Provincial Commissioner Lt-Gen Baile Motswenyane said the incident would receive the “proper attention” from the investigating team.
“We condemn the behaviour as reflected in the video,” Motswenyane added.
On her part, Premier Sisi Ntombela said she was disgusted by the video.
“I have instructed the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Makalo Mohale to deal with the matter with the urgency it deserves and engage law enforcement agencies. Racism and such barbaric actions have no place in our province.
Mohale said he would meet with the management of the Maselspoort Resort and speak to the victims to gather the facts of the incident.
In a statement issued by the MEC’s office, he condemned the “senseless act of racism”, adding that this unwanted behaviour should never be entertained the incident would be treated with urgency.
“Thus far, the incident has been identified as one element that remains a threat to the revival of the tourism sector. Therefore, we urge our communities to report any incident of racism to law enforcement agencies and continue to play a role in assisting the police to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book,” he said.