White River widow Irene McCarthy was struck, cursed with hatespeech, her car rocked by large mob of aggressive black strikers - "I pay taxes for these roads: my Irish blood boiled and indignation welled up...' she said:
23 August 2011 -- White River. An elderly widow was abused and assaulted as she tangled with a rioting mob in the latest wave of strike protests. Nelspruit journalist Peter Doble writes that elderly White River widow Irene McCarthy was verbally abused and assaulted as she tangled with a rioting mob of large black males in the latest wave of strike protests. She was blocked from travelling through White River on Friday morning as a group of about 50 municipal workers moved from junction to junction stopping all traffic, emptying and dispersing litter and setting fire to it. Cars, taxis and trucks were forced to run the gauntlet of burning debris and broken glass as they jumped red lights to avoid the mob. The traumatised Mrs McCarthy was hit in the face while the mob of strikers surrounded her car, kicking it, rocking it, throwing it with stones and beating it with sticks.
"I was not going to allow them to stop me from going where I wanted," she said, still visibly distressed and nursing her injured cheek.
"I pay taxes to use these roads and they have no right to prevent me from doing so. As they surrounded the car, my Irish blood boiled and indignation welled up. They started to push my car backwards and then rock it. As I drove forward they became more abusive. I told them that I was not scared of them." As the mob started to disperse, the whole group pressed intimidatingly against McCarthy's car, and at that point someone hit her in the face with an object causing her to black out and sending her glasses flying. McCarthy staggered out and, although shaking with fear and anger, she was determined to go to the police station and lay a charge.
Police from nearby cop-shop were conspicuous by their absence until afterwards…
Bystanders were threatened and aggressively ordered not to take photographs. It was not a peaceful march or protest but an organised act of deliberate violent public disorder. Despite White River SAPS located close by, there was no visible policing. The rioting group was watched while causing mayhem, starting fires and abusing motorists and pedestrians without any monitoring or interference. A policeman dressed in civilian clothes arrived after the McCarthy incident but by then the protesters had moved on. The government previously pledged that riotous behaviour would not be tolerated from strikers. Nelspruit municipality has sought an emergency High Court interdict to prevent any further public nuisance from its strikers. Municipal communications manager Ms Bessie Pienaar said that photographic evidence of incidents has been requested and the appropriate legal or disciplinary action will be taken against identified individuals.