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IRS Investigates Alleged Racial Attack on Inter-Racial Couple

IRS Investigates Alleged Racial Attack on Inter-Racial Couple ILLOVO – An alleged racist attack has left a couple traumatised.

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An interracial couple, Jonathan Raphunga and Genya Gluckman, decided to go out with some friends on the night of 20 August to a popular restaurant and bar in Illovo.

Their night, however, took a twist when Raphunga was allegedly assaulted by two Lebanese men who were part of a bachelor party bus.

"We were dropped off at around 10.36pm according to our Uber receipts. We established that my phone had been stolen when we got out of the Uber. I was rather bothered by it. Genya told me that she was going to leave, as I had been sulking and then walked outside to catch an Uber home. I then went outside and we had a talk on the steps," explained Raphunga. According to Gluckman, it was then that two males approached them. "They stood in front of us for no apparent reason; at first I thought they might have known Jonathan, so I asked them if we could help them and they simply ignored my question. Eventually, I stood up and asked them to please leave," commented Gluckman.

She explained that one of the men suddenly grabbed her boyfriend, hit him and dragged him to the street where they continued to beat him.

"The attackers were shouting derogatory words at him such as k*****, which leads me to believe the attack was racially motivated. I tried to get them to stop and got in between them. One of them pulled me away and Jon told them not to touch me," she said.

"One of the men punched Jon so hard that he was knocked out and lying on the floor. People tried to intervene and pull them off. I picked Jon up off the floor and took him to the bathroom to try to clean him up and see how bad the damage was. This was very traumatic. I have never witnessed anything like this." Raphunga received medical attention at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, in the emergency ward and was treated for a mouth wound.

According to the CT scans and X-rays, his jaw wasn’t fractured or broken. His lips required stitches and he was informed that his teeth were badly broken and that he should go to the Wits Dental Clinic the next day. He was discharged from the hospital on 21 August.

On 22 August, he then underwent an operation to remove his broken tooth and realign his teeth. He also had an arch-bar inserted into his mouth to hold his teeth in place.

Captain Mogodi, spokesperson for the Bramley Police Station confirmed a case has been opened. "A case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm is under investigation at the Bramley Police Station.

"The complainant informed the investigating officer that he is unable to identify his attackers; reason being, his attackers were in a group. The investigating officer is in touch with the owner of the bus to obtain more information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators."

The alleged attackers were contacted for comment and did not want to speak to the Rosebank Killarney Gazette. IRS Forensic Investigations has been retained by the victim to conduct an independent investigation as well as to assist the police with their investigations.

Director of IRS Forensic Investigations, Chad Thomas, is handling this case. "It is sad, in this day and age, that such a savage attack on a person can take place with obvious racist undertones. He did not deserve what happened to him and IRS will ensure that he gets the justice he deserves and that the culprits are brought to book," said Thomas.

Raphunga has been undergoing counselling since the ordeal.