Three white men have been arrested over the alleged assault of two Black teens at a resort in South Africa.
The incident on Christmas Day in the city of Bloemfontein was captured in video by a bystander. According to the two teenagers, the attackers told them the pool at Maselspoort Resort and Conference Centre was for “white people only,” The New York Times reports.
In the video, the adult male can be seen strangling, slapping and putting one of the teens in a headlock and into the pool. The violence in the recording, which has since become viral, has prompted renewed demands for the nation’s leaders to address racism.
Johan Nel, 33, and Jan Stephanus van der Westhuizen, 47, have since been arrested and charged with assault. A third unidentified individual faces attempted murder charges.
Footage of the disturbing video, shared on Twitter by a woman who claims to be the sister of the victims, has been viewed more than 21 million times.
One of the teens who was assaulted is 18-year-old Kgokong Nakedi, his father Brian Nakedi told the Times.
According to Mr Nakedi, who was once an underground Apartheid fighter, his family made a reservation at the resort for three nights to celebrate a reunion post-Covid.
Mr Nakedi said his family had made the booking in a part of the resort that has chalets, but his son and a 13-year-old nephew opted for swimming in a pool in a wooded campground area.
The teens were reportedly told they could not be in the area by people who believed they were not guests in the resort.
Kgokong and the 13-year-old decided to go into the pool before alerting Mr Nakedi of the situation.
Mr Nakedi said he briefly explained to some white guests that his son and nephews were also guests at the resort, and left the pool area thinking the situation had been resolved.
But just moments later, men impeded Kgokong from going into the pool by closing a gate.
The teens still went into the pool, with several white guests simultaneously jumping outside before the violence then ensued.
Kgokong said that while one of the men held him underwater, he muttered: “You’re fighting for the water; now you’ll die.”
President Cyril Ramphosal issued a statement condemning the attacks.
“Under the rule of law, we must let investigations take their course ... but under the rule of law, we can and must also declare that racism has no place in our society and racists have no place to hide,” Mr Ramphosal said, per The Times.
The Apartheid in South Africa took place between 1948 and the early 1990s. Still, racism and discrimination remain an issue in the country’s culture.
A 2021 report by the BBC found that Black South Africans continue to face great disparities compared to their white counterparts post-Apartheid.