02 Jun 2013 08:30
By Charles Tjatindi
GOBABIS, 02 JUNE (NAMPA) - A racial storm is brewing at Gobabis after a young entrepreneur at the town, Levi Katire, was on Saturday severely beaten in what is believed to be a racially-motivated attack.
Medical personnel at the Gobabis District hospital struggled for hours to stop excessive bleeding coming from the deep cuts on his head. His condition is now reported to be stable, although he had lost a lot of blood.
Katire was allegedly attacked by white patrons at an upmarket bar here after being refused entry to the bar, apparently because he was black.
The bar, trading under the name Buffalo?s, is located in the town?s industrial section.
Narrating his ordeal to Nampa from his hospital bed on Sunday, Katire said he and a friend decided to drop by Buffalo?s on their way to another drinking spot when the attack happened.
He said his friend and some patrons at the bar got into a heated argument, at which Katire decided to proceed inside to avoid the confrontation. He was, however, stopped in his tracks by the bar owner, who told him that ?his kind? was not welcome there.
?The bar owner told me that it was a private bar and only whites were allowed at the bar. When I asked him why was that the case, another white man who was sitting inside the bar rushed at me and hit me with an object on my head,? he said.
Whilst trying to defend himself from the onslaught, another patron allegedly approached him from behind and stabbed him on the neck with an unidentified sharp object.
?It all happened fast. One moment we were having a conversation with the bar owner, and the next moment I was lying on the floor and blood oozing from my head. What I do not understand is how a place in an independent country can only be accessed by some people?? Katire remarked.
Several attempts to get hold of the bar owner, whose name was not revealed to Nampa, proved futile and all his contact numbers went unanswered.
According to information obtained by this agency, the restriction of entry to black people at Buffalo?s is nothing new.
Former long-serving Managing Editor of New Era, Rajah Munamava and the Chief Executive Officer of the Gobabis Municipality, Efraim Dawids had on different occasions in the past been denied entry to the bar, allegedly on the same premise.
The town of Gobabis has long been at the centre of racial disputes between whites and black residents, with some places at the town only reserved for one group over the other.
A church at the town is allegedly also a no-go-zone for black people, as white people are said to either leave or warn blacks not to return to it when they show up.
Katire?s case is yet to be reported to the police. The police are waiting on a statement from Katire pending his recovery.