Speedy investigation needed into attack on Thabang Mosiako - Thulas Nxesi

Sports minister says racial attacks, irrespective of which race group is involved or attacked, can't be tolerated

Minister Nxesi,calls for speedy investigation into the assault of top SA athletes

16 February 2018

The Minister of Sport and Recreation, TW Nxesi, has demanded a speedy investigation into the brutal assault of 5000m champion, Thabang Mosiako and his fellow runner, Rantso Mokopane, in what is believed to have been a racially motivated attack.

Thabang Mosiako and the 23-year-old Mokopane, the 3000m steeplechase runner, were allegedly attacked last week by a group of white males.

Minister Nxesi has urged authorities from the North West University, or Pukke, in Potchefstroom and the SA Police Services (SAPS) to expedite the investigations, and ensure speedy arrest of all those responsible for this senseless attack.

It is alleged that a scuffle ensued when Mosiako and Mokopane, along with another friend Sandy Londt, allegedly intervened to save a Cafe cashier who was at the time verbally abused by the alleged perpetrators. This infuriated the white males when they turned their anger to the trio and attacked them where Mosiako was left unconscious, and had to be hospitalised where he regained his consciousness. 

Mosiako was due to represent South Africa at the 5th African Cross-Country Championships in Algeria, scheduled for 17 March. But due to the nature of the injuries sustained during the attack, he might not fully recover in time to take part.

In responding to this cowardly and despicable attack, the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Nxesi, said: “We urge the University authorities and the Police to speedily investigate this barbaric act, and quickly apprehend those who are responsible.

“This is much bigger than the affected athletes. Any alleged racial attacks, irrespective of which race group is involved or attacked, cannot be tolerated. Such cowardly acts warrant the condemnation they deserve.

“I therefore call upon members of all communities to also work with the police in ensuring all perpetrators of this racially motivated attacks are apprehended and dealt with harshly. This barbaric act of racism regresses all the gains of our hard-fought democracy.

Statement issued by Sport and Recreation South Africa, 16 February 2018