Man hits woman at gym

MBOMBELA – An eyewitness who would only speak to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, said the two children were at the computer section near the restaurant. They apparently had a fight, and the little white boy was discovered crying by his mom when she came to fetch him.

He indicated to her that a little black boy was to blame for the tears. The woman approached the boy.

“I think she wanted to ask him what had happened,” the witness said.

The little boy’s father arrived at the same time from the changing rooms, carrying his young daughter in his arms.

The parents got into an argument, which developed into a “racial slur slinging competition”, the man said. “There was a lot of shouting by both.”

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He said he heard the man say, “Get that little white boy away from my son,” when the little black boy indicated the white boy had started it all.

The commotion drew the attention of other gym members, who started gathering around the two in confusion, when the man struck the woman in the face.

Whether it was a slap or a punch he couldn’t say.

One of his friends grabbed the man, and said, “You don’t hit a woman.”

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The man started shouting at the bystanders that they were racist. Management managed to calm the situation.

The eyewitness continued, “I am a black man and I don’t think it was anything racial. You never ever hit a woman.”

Ms Les Aupiais, head of strategic communications of Virgin Active Health Clubs South Africa, confirmed an incident. She said both members were suspended pending a full investigation into what had happened.

A spokesman for SAPS Nelspruit said at the time of going to press, no assault case concerning the incident had been registered with them yet.

Mireille de Villiers and Carli Koch

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