South Africa: President Condemns Free State Racism Incident

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned an alleged violent racist incident at the Maselspoort Resort, just outside Bloemfontein on Christmas day.

This after a video emerged on social media wherein two teenage black boys were attacked and assaulted by a group of white adults.

In the video, the adults seemingly tried to prevent the boys from using a swimming pool at the resort which they allegedly claim is reserved for the use of white people only.

The President said such incidents must be rooted out in society and condemned the actions of the white adults.

“We must also be united in ridding our society of the violence we see in the videos of the incident at the Free State resort, whether such violence comes with racism or not.

“It is deplorable that adults dealing with teenagers, resort to violence with such disturbing ease, hurting people physically and offending provisions in our Bill of Rights around security of the person, including the right to dignity and being free of violence,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa called on all people to fight the scourge of racism in the country.

“Our Constitution means exactly what it says when it declares that South Africa – and that means all of South Africa – belongs to all who live in it.

“As black and white South Africans, we should be united in condemning all manifestations of racism and attempts to explain or defend such crimes. Racism is not a problem to be fought by black South Africans only,” he said.

Following the public outcry on the incident, the President said the law must be allowed to take its course.

“Under the rule of law, we must let investigations take their course but under the rule of law we can and must also declare that racism has no place in our society and racists have no place to hide.

“We must defend our continuing national mission of ridding our society of the divisions and the hurts of our past,” President Ramaphosa said.

Investigations continue

Meanwhile, police spokesperson, Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, says police are still investigating the matter following calls for a case of attempted murder to be opened against one of the men who allegedly held one of the boys underwater.

Makhele said police are currently investigating a case of crimen injuria and common assault which may be changed as the investigation continues.

“We want to put it on record that the police never downgraded any crime but worked and were informed by first statement as obtained from the complainant.

“That was not the end of our investigation, hence the investigator continued to obtain more statements before the docket can be placed before the senior state prosecutor to give further directives as the one having such muscles to decide if after obtaining these additional statements, a charge can be changed.

“It was after obtaining these statements, the docket was presented to the senior state prosecutor who gave a directive that a charge can be changed to attempted murder given additional facts,” Makhele said.

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