Three white men in South Africa are probably wishing they had minded their own business right about now as they have been charged with crimes related to an attack on Black teens at a resort near South Africa’s capital, Bloemfontein. As previously reported, the teens were allegedly ordered out of a swimming pool at the resort by white guests who were, apparently, asserting authority they didn’t have, much like the racist Karens and Ken-tlemen of the U.S.
According to the New York Times, Free State police announced Wednesday that Johan Nel, 33, and Jan Stephanus van der Westhuizen, 47, were arrested on assault charges in connection with the incident while a third man whose name hasn’t been released was charged with attempted murder.
Here’s what 18-year-old Kgokong Nakedi and his father, Brian Nakedi, said happened, according to the Times:
Mr. Nakedi, 58, said family members had booked a house for three nights at the resort for their first reunion since the coronavirus pandemic began. The venue is divided into two parts, he said — homes and chalets on one side, where his family was staying, and a wooded campground on the other side that is usually occupied mostly by white visitors.
Kgokong Nakedi said that in the early afternoon on Christmas Day, he and his cousin, Sipho Khumalo, 13, had set out to swim at the pool on the campground side. Almost as soon as they arrived, he said, white guests began asking them what they were doing there and saying that they were not allowed. Kgokong said he got into the pool anyway, but as tensions increased, he and his cousin left to tell his father.
Mr. Nakedi said he went to confront the men who had stopped his son and nephew. It appeared, he said, that they thought the teenagers were not guests at the resort and, therefore, not allowed to use the pool. Mr. Nakedi said he explained that they were, indeed, guests, and the situation appeared to clear up. Mr. Nakedi said he explained to the youths that everything was OK and they could return to the pool.
But when they went back, Kgokong said, one of the men closed the gate and stopped them from entering. An argument ensued, with Kgokong and the man jabbing their fingers at each other, according to security footage from the pool provided by the Nakedi family, who said the resort’s management had turned it over.
The surveillance video showed Kgokong and Sipho hopping over the fence and Kgokong jumping into the pool, at which point nearly all the white guests immediately vacated the pool—but nah, I’m sure this was about the Black kids being in the wrong pool for guests and not about pure unadulterated racism and anti-Blackness.
The video also shows that at one point during the escalating tension between the Black teens and the white guests, Kgokong swam to the edge of the pool and one of the white men leaned over and slapped him, which prompted the Black teens to fight back resulting in a chaotic scene. Kgokong said that one man tried to hold him underwater and kept saying, “You’re fighting for the water; now you’ll die.” He also claimed him and his cousin were told the pool was for “white people only.”
Again, things like this can easily be avoided if white people learn they’re not in charge of Black people.
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