White Men Charged in Attack to Keep Black Teens From Pool

Christmas attack at resort reminds South Africans of their past
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2022 4:55 PM CST
Attack on Black Teens at Pool Reminds South Africans of Past
Maselspoort, South Africa   (Getty / Skapie777)

Nearly 30 years after the country abandoned apartheid, three white men have been charged with attacking Black teenagers to keep them from using a swimming pool at a resort in South Africa. One of the men arrested faces an attempted murder count and two others are charged with assault, the Washington Post reports. "They harassed us because we are Black," said Kgokong Nakedi, 18, who reported that he was attacked Sunday along with his 13-year-old cousin. The family was vacationing at the Maselspoort resort in Bloemfontein, in the Free State province. "They said we were not allowed to swim in the pool because it is for Whites only." Outrage spread after a video circulated on social media.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa asked Black and white people to unite in denouncing all forms of racism, as well as efforts to defend them. "It is deplorable that adults dealing with teenagers resort to violence with such disturbing ease," he said in a statement. The suspects have made court appearances and been released until their next one on Jan. 25. Kobus Johannes Classen, 47, faces the attempted murder count. Among the charges against Johan Nel, 33, and Jan Stephanus van der Westhuizen, 47, in the Christmas Day attack is "unlawfully and intentionally impairing the dignity or privacy of another person."

A water resources scientist who posted an angry denunciation of racism afterward said she received positive responses, some from other scientists. "If you think that you are 'special' because of the lack of melanin in your DNA, then move to Russia, please," Carin Bosman wrote, per Times Live. "It's 2022 and people are chasing children away at a pool," she added. "Certain minorities think that they own the place and it's their country," Kgokong Nakedi said in a TV interview. "But the truth is, it's our home. Things like that are outdated." Nakedi's father, Brian, said the family was holding its first reunion since the beginning of the pandemic. He said a white bystander stepped in and saved his son's life. "To relive what you have lived before, it's a tough thing," Brian Nakedi said, "especially if it's reminiscent of the apartheid system." (More South Africa stories.)

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