The Carlton Centre mall

The Star newspaper reports that one of the security guards who allegedly beat a lesbian woman unconscious has now laid charges of assault against her.

On June 13, Bonisiwe Mtshali (29), who works at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, was allegedly attacked by three security guards after she gave her girlfriend Khanyisa Ndoda (21) a goodbye kiss in the city centre mall.

She was unconscious for three hours following the attack and reportedly continues to suffer from severe headaches and chest pains. While the Carlton Centre apologised for the incident, the security guards have not been suspended or relocated, said the newspaper.

On Wednesday, while the case was being heard by the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court, it emerged that one of the security guards had laid counter charges of assault against Mtshali for allegedly scratching his face while defending herself.

Disturbingly, according to Mtshali’s lawyer, the magistrate hearing the case discouraged the women from pursuing the case, under the impression that it was a domestic violence incident, and suggested that they instead settle it through mediation, which Mtshali refused.

Last week, the DA slammed the police for also discouraging the couple from seeking justice when they first reported the attack; urging them to drop the charges because “it wasn’t a big case and would be expensive”.

“How can we possibly know the extent of this type of crime, when the police are setting themselves up as judges by preventing the matter from even getting to court?” asked Debbie Schafer, the DA’s Shadow Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development.

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