eMalahleni police are investigating a case of what appears to be a racially-fuelled assault after a black petrol attendant at an Engen garage in Del Judor was attacked by a group of white bikers at the weekend.
Petrol attendant Michael Ntuli* said the altercation started outside at the pumps when two men on a motorcycle asked for petrol. “One of them was smoking and I asked him to move away from the pumps.
“After a while I asked them to move to another pump as the one they were waiting in front of didn’t have the grade they were looking for,” he said.
It was at this point that the customer got angry and started swearing at Michael. “He called me a k***r and a monkey”.
According to Ntuli the bikers then made phone calls after which a Black Uno and blue Golf each carrying four people arrived at the garage.
Another petrol attendant pulled Ntuli into the store to get him away from the situation. In a video snippet from the shop’s security cameras three men are seen following Ntuli into the shop and moving behind the teller. The confrontation soon escalates and fists are thrown at Ntuli. One of his assailants even climbed on top of the shop counter.
The assault continued outside the shop and was eventually broken up by police.
Ntuli’s manager, Dries Marx, said that such incidents “do happen though not regularly”. “I’m not sure if it was a racist attack, I think it was guys who were drunk and looking for trouble. These things usually happen in those hours of the night.”
Marx said the incident was “unfortunate and we have given all the video footage to the police”.
* Not his real surname