‘Racist’ attacker mum

Two witnesses have confirmed it with Wits Vuvuzela that “The White student attacked Memela” but cannot confirm the event that happened inside the classroom as they were “not close enough to hear everything” 

The white woman who is accused of physically assaulting and verbally abusing a fellow Law student in a racist attack outside a lecture room has declined to comment on the allegation.

“I do not want to comment on your article, this whole thing is still under investigation, I do not want to comment,” said the woman, whose name is known to Wits Vuvuzela.

Sinethemba Memela, 4th year Law, said she was attacked last week after her Intellectual Property lecture which culminated in the white, woman student shouting at her “I will fuckin’ kill you, you black bitch.”

What allegedly started as verbal attacks later escalated into a physical confrontation as Memela was pulled by one of her aggressors outside the lecture venue. She said the student “pinched my breasts, daring me to beat her”.

Sinethemba Memela has accused two of her classmates of racial abuse. Photo: Palesa Tshandu

Sinethemba Memela reported a week ago about racial abuse and physical assault. Photo: Palesa Tshandu

Two witnesses talk to Vuvuzela about “what they saw”

Two witnesses at the Intellectual Property lecture said they saw the argument and ensuing attack as it happened. Both students have asked for anonymity.

“*[The white student] threw down her bag, took off her jersey, walked up to her and grabbed Memela by the neck,” said a male witness.

According to the male student, he could not hear the words that started the fight but could see an argument was brewing.

“She [the white student] threw down her bag and took off her jersey, walked up to her and grabbed Memela by the neck.”

“I was there in class, but was not very close enough to hear what they were really saying, but I heard at one stage the word ‘unnecessary’,” he said.

After the lecture “we saw Memela standing there, she was speaking loudly, then we saw [the white student] standing from far, with her short friend, the shorter friend was busy arguing with Memela but from far,” the male student said.

“[The white student] shouted something, walked all the way to Memela and they started grabbing each other. I got in between the two of them what I heard personally was ‘I’ll f*ck you up you little bitch, I’ll f*ck you up bitch’, I was close enough to hear what they were saying, and the Memela girl kept on saying ‘Who is this girl? Who are you?'”

The second witness, a female student, said the attack “was later after the lecture, there were not more than 12 people who were outside”.

“She [the white student] threw down her bag and took off her jersey, walked up to her and grabbed Memela by the neck, that’s when I remember my friend intervening and he tried to break them apart,” said the female student.

“I think most of the violence was coming from the white girl rather than Memela,” she said.


COOL KID: Bookstore “bookie”- Moshe Mashela

Photo: Lameez Omarjee

Photo: Lameez Omarjee

With dreads hanging over his eyes and a backpack, Moshe Mashela looks like a typical student.  However, this third year BCom Law student has a cool job as part-time staff manager at a bookstore.

What are some of the challenges you face in juggling a part-time job and university?

The biggest challenge is time and energy. You have less time for school, but you manage your time properly.  Luckily, shifts are flexible.

 What are some of the difficulties of the job?

It’s retail so there are difficult customers. The worst ones try to get their way by shouting at or insulting staff. One of their favourite lines is: “Call your manager.” Most people are nice and reasonable.  The women are pretty decent, although you sometimes get hit on by old men and women, which is not cool.

A challenge is when people describe books they are looking for too vaguely. We just plain don’t have a mental index of blue books with red writing about a lady or a cat, so we usually tell them there’s not much we can do without a title or an author, or a key word at least. No matter how vague a description, we’ll still do our best to help them find it.

 What are some of the best things about this job?

Interacting with people. You meet really nice people at bookstores and you have to get to know them to know what kind of books they like, and recommend something else they might like.  You also learn a lot from them. They end up recommending books to you. The staff, which has become more of a family than anything else. The books, obviously the books. And, I’m not going to lie, it helps to have an income.

 Any funny stories while you’ve been at work?

There’s this little boy, he sincerely thinks that he’s a wizard, and is convinced that we’re hiding our “real” spell books somewhere, and keeps asking for them. There was a lady once who asked for a book she saw in a dream. People sometimes get mixed up and ask for books by Jane Eyre, or when the next installment of Anne Frank’s diary will be released.