The incident has attracted thousands of social media users to seek justice and share posts relating to the attack on 21-year-old Mthunzi Sibuyi.
The Citizen today spoke to two eyewitnesses who are friends with Sibuyi, both of whom chose to remain anonymous. The accounts have allowed us to get a better idea of what transpired on the night of Saturday 6 January.
According to the friends, Sibuyi and his friends went to the Brazen Head in Witbank at about 9pm on Saturday night. The friends headed to the dancefloor, which was when a man by the name of Koos Els and his three sons joined Sibuyi and his friends. At first, the encounter was harmless, but Els and his sons then started dancing very close to the girls in the group, and flicking caps off the heads of friends in the group. Wanting to avoid a potential altercation, the group of friends left the dancefloor, which was when Els approached Sibuyi and his friends seated at a table and allegedly said to one of Sibuyi’s female friends: “Sit lekker saam ‘n k***er.”
After this comment, the group agreed to leave the pub. As they made their way outside, one eyewitness describes how he heard a loud thud. “When I turned around I saw Mthunzi on the floor … I then ran towards him, pushing away the people in my path.”
The anonymous eyewitness, who saw Sibuyi being punched, explains they were talking to Sibuyi at the entrance of the pub when Els approached him from behind and hit him without warning. “After he was hit, Mthunzi’s eyes rolled back … After that [Koos] had a smirk on his face …”
Sibuyi was hit on the temple, and promptly collapsed and fell to the ground. He was in ICU until yesterday with a fracture and a clot on his brain, as well as internal bleeding. He is now at home under observation.
Collins says Sibuyi is currently hard of hearing near where he was punched by Els, and doctors have yet to confirm whether the damage will be permanent.
It was reported yesterday by TimesLIVE that the Witbank police have not yet arrested the suspect. “He said he would hand himself over with his lawyer,” said Sergeant David Ratau. The suspect will face at least two charges, namely one of attempted murder and another of sexual harassment.
The incident has even attracted the attention of prominent figures, such as EFF leader Julius Malema, who took to Facebook to share posts and pictures of the attack. “Share and popularise with their [the Els’] car’s registration number,” Malema’s post read.
See Malema’s post below:
Sources: Twitter, Facebook, TimesLIVE, Witbank News