'I THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO KILL US'

Pretoria News, 21 February 2008

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"There were so many of them. They were hitting my children. I tried to stop them, but couldn't." Mozambican Lazarus Sithole described how he and his family had to run for their lives after being cornered by a group of men attacking foreigners in Itireleng informal settlement near Laudium. Sithole was at home with his wife Zonia, four-year-old twins Sipho and Thebe and nine-year-old daughter Kesani when they were attacked. Kicking in the door, the attackers grabbed hold of Sithole's children. "They kept hitting Sipho. I tried to stop them, but they pushed me. When Kesani yelled at them a man jumped at her and punched her. "He yelled at her again before smacking Thebe in the face. "When they started pulling us outside, we ran. We left everything behind. I just grabbed Sipho and Thebe and ran as fast as I could. "I remember yelling to Zonia and Kesani to run. I could hear people behind us screaming for others to catch us. They were whistling and shouting. "I have never been so scared. I thought they were going to kill us. There were people who were being beaten and I saw men kicking a man on the ground. "I don't understand why this has happened. What did we do? Why do they want to kill us?"