Police in South Africa are investigating an alleged antisemitic attack against Jewish youths wearing yarmulkas at The Zone shopping mall in Rosebank, Johannesburg, local publication The Citizen reported.
Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, said three Jewish boys were walking out of a movie on Saturday night when three males allegedly called out antisemitic insults and physically assaulted two of the three youths.
One of the attackers shouted “You f***ing Jew” and “your f***ing people are killing our innocent children,” according to The Jewish Daily Forward.
The assault, which took place on Human Rights Day, was caught on surveillance video. Kahn said that since the youths clearly identified as Jewish it is likely that the attack was motivated by antisemitism.
“[The Jewish boys] were wearing [a] kippah,” said Kahn, adding that the antisemitic remarks included references to religious and political tension in the Middle East.
The three assailants, who the Jewish youths did not recognize, allegedly fled the scene after the attack. Kahn found out about the incident the next day when the victims filed complaints at the Rosebank Police Station, The Citizen noted.
“We have been seeing an escalation of verbal antisemitism [in South Africa], but this is the first time it has crossed the line to a physical attack,” Kahn said. “We are so proud that we have not had violent antisemitic incidents [in South Africa], this is why it’s so important that we deal with this seriously to make sure these incidents don’t occur.”
Salina Ramdass, property manager of The Zone, said security at the shopping mall is working with police to help investigate the altercation. Spokesperson Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe said no arrests have been made thus far.