A South African 5000 m athletics champion, Thabang Mosiako, who was to jet off to Algeria for the African Champs in March suffered a major blow on Sunday morning, after he was kicked and head-bashed on the ground by about 10 white NWU students, Potchefstroom Herald reports.
The 22-year-old Mosiako, a Boston College student and a Nedbank runner, was beaten unconscious and woke up in Potchefstroom Hospital, after sustaining injuries to the head. According to the doctor, this may result in seizures in the future.
His other two friends, Rantso Mokopane and Sandy Londt, suffered minor injuries in the attack.
Rantso, 23, who is the former SA steeplechase champion and also a former SA 1 500m and cross-country champ, says “this was a racial attack”.
He took to Facebook later that day to vent his anger and posted: “4th time being attacked in and around the NWU Campus, and this time around my training partner severely injured and resulting in a head trauma which may lead to lifelong seizures. I always refrain from racial issues, but on all those 4 attacks it has always been white men engulfing and injuring non-whites without cause…..it saddens me that even police and protection services fail to protect where needed…#Cry_Our_ Beloved_Country (sic).”
Rantso says their attackers are university students.
The disappointed athlete says the whole incident started at Varsity Café after three or so of their attackers swore at the cashier.
“I intervened and asked them to stop swearing at the lady. When I went outside, the group had multiplied and there were about ten rugby-bodied men who started attacking us.
“The police came and stopped the fight but, to add salt to the injury, the police targeted us and started beating us with batons as if we were the ones who were in the wrong. We felt discriminated against.
“We fled the scene and, on the way, we saw another police van and humbly asked the officers to escort us to the campus because we knew our attackers would come back. The officers refused.
“After a few moments, near Virgin Active, the attackers, who were hiding nearby, ambushed us.”
They repeatedly bashed his head against the ground.
“There were a lot of them and we did not stand a chance. The two of us fled and the attackers all started kicking Mosiako on the head and body while he was on the ground.
“I saw one taking his head and repeatedly bashing it against the ground. When they saw the police were coming, they fled, leaving the unconscious athlete on the ground.
“He was transported to the hospital,” says Rantso.