Monday, 23 June 2008

Assaulted for not giving way

June 22 2008 at 12:22PM

By Agiza Hlongwane

Ladysmit motorist Angus Kenard says the next time he sees a flashing blue light in his rear-view mirror, he will pull over to the grass at the side of the fast lane - just to stay alive.

"I thought I was going to die," Kenard said this week, referring to the day he was allegedly chased by three speeding government SUVs with flashing blue lights, forced off the highway, slapped at least 20 times and subjected to racial abuse.

Kenard, 28, a construction project manager, said he was "cruising along" in the fast lane on the N2 to do business in Durban about 11am on June 5 when his nightmare began.

"There had been an accident and a whole lot of trucks were lining the side of the road. When I passed the Ultra City before the Estcourt turn-off, two black BMW X5s and a Range Rover came up behind me, gesturing for me to get off the road. But I couldn't because of the trucks"

Kenard said he had tried to speed up to 160km/h to give the vehicles a gap.

"They followed me for 800m to 1km, flashing lights, hooting. But then there was a truck overtaking another truck, so I had to slow down. They must have thought I was being funny with them and they had their sirens wailing.

"The truck eventually overtook, but these guys wanted to ram me off the road, coming closer and closer."

"One of the vehicles eventually managed to get in front of Kenard, but it was not long before it ground to a halt, forcing him to do the same.

"The Range Rover parked parallel to his VW Jetta and the other BMW X5 blocked him from the back. "Five men got out and came to me.

"I could see two pistols strapped on the body of one of them. I opened my window and said, 'Excuse me, what is the problem?'."

Before he could say more, two of the men pressed down the window, damaging its mechanism.

"He said you f***** white people, what is wrong with you?"

One of the men removed his car keys from the ignition, took his cellphone and smashed it on the tarmac. They then took turns slapping him.

"They must have done it at least 20 times. I was saying sorry, sorry, sorry. Basically I was pleading for my life."

He described the ordeal as surreal and frightening.

"I was absolutely terrified and I was trembling for about five minutes. It's psychological trauma."

When the men left, Kenard drove to the Estcourt Police Station where he laid a charge of assault and malicious damage to property.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Tribune on June 22, 2008


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