Coloureds Allegedly Assaulted by Engen Staff, Stereotyped as Possible Robbers

Lola Williams

Local singer, Lola Williams, has written a scathing social media post to Engen, accusing their staff of assault and possible racism.

Lola alleges in her post that she and some friends had been waiting on their Uber to arrive at the Plattekloof Engen petrol station, when petrol attendants approach them with “big iron or steel rods”.

They were aggressively asked to leave and before they could respond, the attendants “became extremely violent” and assaulted them, injuring two of Lola’s friends.

Despite the assault, the group of friends remained calm and tried to reason with them in a peaceful manner.

Lola then asked to speak with the manager, and was promptly informed that they “have no rights” and that she ‘does not need to speak to their supervisor”.

It was then that they were accused of trying to rob the petrol station.

Lola suggests in her post that the only reason for them being identified as possible robbers is because they were Coloured.

Lola asked the petrol attendant if he thinks it’s right to take the law into his own hands to which he responded, “yes”.

Prior to arriving at the garage in a different Uber, Lola had been performing at Summer Nights 2020 in Observatory.

After dropping them off in front of the Engen shop, where they purchased airtime and snacks, the Uber driver decided to drive off without informing them.

They then decided to order another Uber and wait outside, which is when the incident happened.

Of the incident, Lola says that they feel ‘traumatised and disrespected.

In another post, she asks, “If they felt at any point uncomfortable at their place of work, why didn’t they call the police to come check us out?”

“I personally feel scared to now stand in any public space because other people that look at me and my friends, a group of young coloured people and think that we want to Rob them,” writes Lola.

“I feel so sad for my friends.”

She stated that she plans on taking the matter further and hopes to get access to the security footage which will prove her case.

She says that “as a female of colour in South Africa, I will not tolerate such discrimination and assault. I know my rights.”