State prosecutors raise concerns about race-related attacks

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

State prosecutors at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court this week raised concerns about race-related public attacks in their jurisdiction, as two more cases were heard at the court this month.

This brings to 16 the number of race-related matters the court has heard in the last six months, they said. Most of the incidents occurred in or near Claremont.

On Thursday, the court heard how Talana-Jo Huysamer, 23, attacked Chantle Hoffmann, 42, in Harfield Village suburb near Claremont.

Huysamer was arrested on Wednesday after police hunted for her at several addresses following the attack on January 3. She was charged with assault to do grievous bodily harm and crimen injuria.

Huysamer was released on R5,000 bail and is due back in court on February 13. She has to report to the Claremont police station every Tuesday and Thursday between 6am and 6pm

State prosecutor Nathan Johnson told the court they would in future oppose bail for the accused in race-related matters at the court.

“These types of race cases have been prevalent. It seems to become a growing problem,” he told the court.

“We will oppose bail in future as communities are becoming outraged.”

Hoffmann, in an exclusive interview, said she was “shocked” after the attack. She said she was looking for parking in Harfield Village where she and friends were going to meet for dinner at a restaurant.

“She (Huysamer) came speeding down the road and stopped nose-to-nose with our car. We asked her if she could go back so we could pass because we were on a bend and couldn’t go back,” said Hoffmann.

“The first words out of her mouth were: ‘Take your piece of shit car and f**k off to where you belong or I will Tazer you’. There were two other people with her in the car and they were all drunk. We said we couldn’t go back.

“She then pulled the Tazer gun out and said ‘Why don’t you k*****s fuck off back to Mitchell’s Plain where you belong’. She was screaming.”

Hoffmann said a man who lives in the street where they wanted to park “came out of his house and asked her why she doesn’t just move back so we can park”.

“The two people, a male and female, who were with her in the car also got out of the car and told her to just move. She was screaming continuously, ‘You fucking k*****s’. It was a shock to my system,” said Hoffmann.

“Eventually she moved back so we could park. Then as she passed us, she again out of her car shouted, ‘You fucking k*****s’. We parked and got out. She then got of her car with the Tazer gun.

“She shouted again, ‘Why don’t you f**k off back to where you belong, you fucking k*****s. She grabbed me by the right arm and tried to Tazer me in my face. She was beyond drunk. She could hardly stand.”

Hoffmann said her friend “intervened and knocked the Tazer gun out of her (Huysamer’s) hand”.

“By that time, people in the bar and the guy at the house came out. The guy tried to call private security and we tried to call the police. She heard that and drove off. I went to the Claremont police and laid charges of assault and defamation.”

Hoffmann added: “I had bruises on my right upper arm, on my left leg and my ankle was swollen. I submitted the official doctor’s form to the police.”

Hoffmann, who works for a national government department, said she was “shocked that a person born in 1990 can have such ideas”.

“You would think that someone who is young would have a different mindset from people born during apartheid. Worst of all is that she is a coach and she has contact with young children. What sort of ideas is she sharing with children?” asked Hoffmann.

It has reportedly been confirmed that Huysamer was a tennis coach at Reddam House private school from June to November 2014.

Hoffmann said the incident left her shaken and disturbed even the day after it occurred.

“The next day I went to Cavendish Square (shopping mall in Claremont) and I felt tense when I looked at white people. I realised that I shouldn’t feel this way because I have white friends,” she said.

Hoffmann, who is from Cape Town, has lieved in Pretoria for the last 13 years. She moved back to Cape Town from six months ago.

“I didn’t come back to Cape Town after 13 years to be called a kaffir. I could not believe that things had not changed all that much in Cape Town,” she said.

“I’ve been reading about these attacks in the papers. I’ve never had this experience in Pretoria. It was a shocking and sad homecoming for me. I don’t understand what is happening.

“We can’t go forward if we have these attitudes. It seems that change is slow in Cape Town.”

Hoffmann said she has also been considering buying a property in Harfield Village “because my son is at a school in Claremont”.

“This won’t affect my search for a property in the area. I’m not going to allow anybody to tell me I belong anywhere. Just because she is white doesn’t mean she can tell me where to live,” said Hoffmann.

She said she would also take the matter to the Equality Court, which deals with matters relating to race and gender.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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