Three South African Jewish teenagers wearing kippahs were physically assaulted and verbally abused at a mall in suburban Johannesburg. The Board of Deputies called on South Africans to respond to the attack by attending a movie on Saturday night wearing a kippah or hat.

(The Citizen) Rosebank police are investigating two cases of common assault after an alleged antisemitic attack at The Zone, in Rosebank on Human Rights Day.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe said the cases are currently under investigation,Rosebank Killarney Gazette reported.

According to Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, three male Jewish youths were walking out of a movie at about 10.30pm when they were approached by the three males on Saturday. The assailants allegedly hurled antisemitic insults at the youths and physically assaulted two of the three youngsters. “[The Jewish boys] were wearing kippah [yarmulke],” said Kahn, who stated that the attack was motivated by antisemitism, as the boys were clearly identified, and the statements directed at them included references to religious and political tension in the Middle East.

The three assailants, who are not known to the Jewish youths, allegedly fled the scene after the physical altercation. Kahn was informed of the incident on Sunday when complaints were also laid by the victims at the Rosebank Police Station. “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,” said Kahn. “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 management was aware of the incident. “The Zone at Rosebank’s security is working together with [the police] to assist with the investigation,” said Ramdass. No arrests have been arrested thus far. Source: The Citizen