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INJURED: Xolile Chali said he was stabbed at work

The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named until he has appeared in court, was arrested after an injured Xolile Chali from Mdantsane opened a criminal case against him on Friday at the Cambridge police station.

Chali alleged he was stabbed in the arm by the man using an okapi knife on Thursday at Fruit&Veg City in Vincent.

Chali said it was not the first time the man had attacked him at work while claiming to be “playing”.

“This is the third incident in this year alone. The other time, he slapped me so hard that my nose bled.

“On Thursday, he complained that I was working slow after I had asked to be excused from work in the morning because I had to be in court,” Chali said.

“I told him I had already done most of the repackaging work and the stock was inside the store but he kept on shouting at me.”

“I carried on working, but the next thing I heard him opening the knife. He stabbed me and there was blood everywhere.

“The store owner said [the man] should take me to hospital and when we arrived there, he lied and said I was cut by an object while I was working. He left me there and said he would come back but never did.”

Police spokesman Captain Mluleki Mbi said: “Police are investigating a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm following a stabbing incident inside the store at Vincent”.

He said the suspect was charged and released on a warning.

“He will appear before the East London Magistrate’s Court today,” Mbi said.

An emotional Chali said he wanted justice to take its course, claiming he had endured abuse and discrimination from the man for years now.

“He doesn’t treat other white people like this. Sometimes he would offer other black workers money to beat me up and threatens to fire me.

“I have two children that I support with the money I get there and it pains me that this man hates me so much for reasons I don’t know,” Chali told the Dispatch.

Contacted for comment yesterday, the man denied stabbing Chali and instead said they were “playing”.

“We were playing and everybody knows that, but it is just a pity that no one is coming forward now.”

Vincent Fruit&Veg manager Louis Birkholtz said no fight had taken place between the two.

“This was a small accident. We have taken disciplinary action against the accused.

“He is still working in the store pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.”