A Black South African news broadcaster says he was attacked and called a “monkey” by a group of white people after trying to help them get out of a car accident.
Initially, 26-year-old Samora Mangesi hesitated to talk about the attack publicly in the wake of the Jussie Smollett case but tweeted graphic images of his injury last Wednesday (March 13) after feeling it necessary to share his story.
Mangesi told Buzzfeed News he received both shock and sympathy from Twitter users. He also was chastised for trying to help a group of white people as a Black person in South Africa.
“On Friday night I was the victim of a racially motivated attack,” Mangesi wrote under a pictures of his injuries. “After stopping to check on a group of young white people whose car had overturned, they called my friends & I Monkeys. When we engaged them on why we were being called such, they beat me up until I was unconscious.”
On Friday night I was the victim of a racially motivated attack. After stopping to check on a group of young white people whose car had overturned, they called my friends & I Monkeys. When we engaged them on why we were being called such, they beat me up until I was unconscious. pic.twitter.com/E9DOGpPacJ— SAMORA (@Samora_Mangesi) March 13, 2019
Samora hosts radio and television shows for the South African Broadcasting Company and was driving with two of his women friends at around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday when they noticed a car had flipped over onto the side of the road. Most of the passengers made it out of the vehicle, however one man was still half-stuck inside. That’s when Mangesi approached the vehicle.
“We asked if they were OK, if they needed us to call the cops, or to call a friend,” he said. “First reaction we got was them saying, ‘Go [away], monkeys...’” He claims they also called his friends “Black bitches.”
“We said, ‘But guys, we’re only trying to help you. Why are you calling us monkeys, using derogatory terms?’” Mangesi recalled. “We were telling them how, in 2019, you can’t call people monkeys, especially Black people, given this country’s history.”
That’s when the exchange got heated and someone came up from behind him and hit him with an unknown object. Mangesi later woke up in a nearby hospital and received a CT scan. His injuries, thankfully, ended up just being surface-level.
“I played with the idea of not reporting it, trying to stay away from turning this into a big media thing and becoming a poster child for racism in South Africa,” he said. “Especially after what we’ve seen with Jussie Smollett in America, I didn’t want that attention.”
Samora Mangesi sustained cuts and bruises to his face as well as damage to the side of his body. Police are actively investigating the alleged hate crime, according to Buzzfeed, but no arrests have yet been made.