He was viciously assaulted after refusing to be called a ‘boy’ by a neighbour.
ANC ward 9 candidate hopeful Bonani Ketiso survived a brutal attack from an axe-wielding assailant who cracked his skull on June 5, requiring 18 stitches and a four-day stay in Livingstone Hospital.
Ketiso agreed to speak to Talk of the Town after being discharged from hospital. He currently has the top half of his head bandaged.
Explaining how the incident unfolded, he said: “I was with my girlfriend on our way home coming from a certain ceremony. At the area called Cricket Field [in Nemato] we met this man [known to Ketiso] who greeted me saying, ‘hello boy’. I said to him I am not a boy and we argued over that.
“We ended up fighting [physically] and there was an old lady who mediated and calmed us down. This guy’s girlfriend came to me ask me what had happened. When I was explaining to her this guy came with an axe and struck me on the head.”
Ketiso said the blow came when he tried to move back and fell down, leading to the perpetrator getting an opportunity to hit him while he was down. He said he was struck once and became unconscious.
“After that I do not know what happened I just got back to my senses when I was in Port Alfred Hospital. I was given an X-Ray and they found out that my skull was cracked. They transferred me to Livingstone Hospital at about 1am to be examined for the extent of the skull injuries. I spent about four days in Livingstone Hospital,” he said.
Ketiso said even though his skull was cracked he appeared to be spared brain injury. However he appeared to battle to carry a conversation without needing take a breath.
When the TotT reporter asked him why his voice was so low, he responded: “I feel much better but I cannot raise my voice and I am unable to speak for a long time.”
Ketiso’s Facebook friends were adamant that the motives of the attack were politically related. When asked to comment on this speculation, Ketiso was reluctant to link the attack with politics, saying he had no evidence but he confirmed that he had had meetings with some people asking him to withdraw from contesting Ward 9 for the position of becoming a councillor.
According to Ketiso, two of those meetings took place in the same week he was attacked. He went on to mention that the last meeting took place on Friday June 4, a day before he was attacked. In both meetings he said he was advised to withdraw contesting Ward 9, which he refused.
When asked about his relationship with the perpetrator he said there had been no bad blood before this incident.
Asked for comment, police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said: “A case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm [has been opened].”
She could not confirm if an arrest had been made.