Port Elizabeth man frustrated in effort to get justice after alleged racial assault


For Port Elizabeth resident, Zander Smit (25), the wheels of justice have been slow to turn a week after he was allegedly assaulted and almost stabbed in what he claims was a racial attack two Friday's ago, in Lorraine.

Smit says he only managed to attempt to report the incident at the Walmer Police Station last weekMonday, but the officers on duty, he alleges, refused to take his statement or open a case docket.

“The police told me to leave, because they felt I was wasting their time, because the suspects were long gone and that they couldn’t do anything about it,” he told RNews.

After contacting a local newspaper, Smit says a reporter referred him to SAPS spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, at Mount Road Police Station, with the idea that she might help him make a report of the incident.

He went there last week Wednesday and claims, he was barred from seeing her.

“They refused to let me see Col. Naidu. I then made a bit of a scene, as they were violating my human rights, after which they then threatened to arrest me,” said Smit.

About the ‘racial’ attack

Smit claims his assault was not just an attack as the suspects had allegedly made racial slurs at him before and during the attack.

“As they were walking toward me before the attack, they constantly referred to me as ‘white boy’ and ‘boertjie’. During the attack, they also yelled that I don’t deserve to live or be in their country,” he said.

The attack occurred on Gilbert Road, between Lorraine and Kamma Park, as Smit was walking home from his girlfriend’s house between 8pm and 9pm on the fateful Friday night. He claims that he suddenly noticed three shadows that appeared to be following him, after which they caught up and accosted him.

“They repeatedly asked me where I was going. They mentioned they were drinking and I could smell it. I started to really get defensive when one guy said that he wanted a new phone,” he said.

“That same guy then tugged on my T-shirt and broke the earphones that I was using, before slapping me in my face.”

Smit claims when he resisted, the suspects ganged up on him and assaulted him with fists and kicks.

“The one guy asked another for his knife and I could hear it being opened up.”

That was when he managed to get up and tried to flee but he claims that they got hold of him again and pinned him to the ground before assaulting him some more.

“They carried on assaulting me and made several attempts to stab me.”  

“They stole my hoodie and shirt off my body, as well as my beany, house keys and cigarettes. With much force, I made sure they didn’t get my phone and wallet,” Smit described.

He claims that he saw residents inside a house, adjacent to where the incident occurred, watching the attack, but they did nothing to help him.

After his attackers fled, Smit said he then went to the same house hoping to get help but there was no answer at the door.

He then went to a nearby pub, which is where he was assisted.

“My biggest concern is that the community or justice system won’t take action when help is needed and that they just worry about themselves,” said Smith.  

Wounds sustained on Smit's back and neck

New developments

RNews managed to contact Colonel Naidu, who said that it was unfortunate that he had been turned away and advised that he instead escalates his case.

“It is his right to open a case and he should not have been turned away,” she said.

According to her, after being turned away, Smit could have taken the matter up by approaching the Station Commander. She said even if the Station Commander could have turned him away, he could still escalate it further to the Cluster command.

Colonel Naidu, having contacted the Walmer Police Station on Friday morning, said she was told that officers at the station were actually aware of his case but unfortunately had not been able to locate him to assist him.

She said Smit could still open case against his attackers by approaching the Walmer Police Station Commander last Friday or even on Monday.

It was not immediately clear at the time of publishing, what choice Smit took.

Image: Zander Smit (25) at the hospital directly after the attack two Friday's ago.