The vicious assault of a gay Bloemfontein man and his brother, allegedly by a police officer, has been captured on video.
The footage shows Neil Sonnekus and his brother Eben standing in the convenience store of a garage in Langenhoven Park, Bloemfontein.
Two other men are seen standing near them and, following what appears to be a brief interaction, one of the men suddenly hits out at Neil, instantly knocking him unconscious.
The man then lashes out Eben, also hitting him to the floor.
A few second later, when Eben tries to check on Neil, who remains splayed out on the ground, the man kicks him twice.
The attacker’s friend calmly completes the transaction with the cashier. They then appear to be joined by two female acquaintances.
Eben again tries to get up but the man runs towards him and attacks him for a third time, knocking the hapless victim into a store display.
The men along with the two women then walk out the store leaving behind the victims on the floor.
Neil, a 34-year-old web developer, remains unconscious from the moment of being assaulted through to the end of the video.
He spent a week in hospital as a result of head injuries allegedly inflicted in the attack.
OFM radio news identified the alleged attacker as being a Sasolburg police officer; Sergeant Christoffel Neuhoff, attached to the Boipatong Crime Prevention Unit in Gauteng.
Neil told Mambaonline that he still has no idea why he and his brother were allegedly attacked by Neuhoff.
“The person that assaulted me was just drunk. He was just trying to make trouble,” alleges Neil.
Despite appearing to say something to Neuhoff in the video, Neil insisted that no words were exchanged between them and that the attack was unprovoked and unexpected.
When asked if his sexuality might have had anything to do with the assault, Neil said that he didn’t know but didn’t think so.
“I just think it was completely unnecessary and I don’t understand why it happened,” he told Mambaonline.
“I fell to the ground and hit my head on the floor. They did a CAT scan and my skull was fractured. And I’ve got some bleeding on the brain,” Neil said.
While he’s expected to make a complete recovery, he claims that he continues to feel the after-effects of the attack.
“I’m still having headaches and some pain. The doctors have said it can take about six weeks to recover,” he said.
According to OFM, Neuhoff was later arrested on a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was released on R500 bail.
The investigating officer told the radio station that the charge may be changed to one of attempted murder. Neuhoff has been ordered to appear in court again on March 20.
The brutality of the South African police has been under the spotlight in recent months following the killing of 34 miners in Marikana last year and the dragging death of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia, who later died from his injuries.
Watch the assault on Neil and Eben Sonnekus below.