TSHUKU Mokoena (40) was walking along the last dark stretch to get home after a taxi dropped him off, when three nyaope boys cornered him.
Finding nothing of value on him, the angry thugs said they would punish him and Tshuku feared the worst.
However, to his surprise the thugs told him to act like a goat – and eat grass!
Tshuku, from Jackson squatter camp in Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg, said: “I was very scared and wondered what they were planning to do to me.
“I was shocked when they told me to eat grass.”
He grabbed a handful of the stuff and put it in his mouth, but one of the thugs told him to graze like a goat.
Tshuku said he didn’t even try to argue. “I don’t know what their reasons were, but I just did as I was told.”
Tshuku said the boys just laughed at him as he grazed and said he should always carry something with him or else he wouldn’t be so lucky next time.
Next time, the thugs warned, he would be joining his ancestors. “I kept on eating the grass, not realising they had left,” he said.
“Minutes later he slowly lifted his head and realised he was alone. He stood up and ran home, feeling lucky to be alive.
He said he always left his valuables at home because he worked late.
“This place is so dark. Anything could have happened to me and it would have been days before someone found me,” said the father of two.
“He said no transport goes straight to the squatter camp in the area. “The taxis drop us at the robot.
“You have to walk past big trees to get home,” Tshuku said.
He said he didn’t open a case with police as nothing was stolen, but he did report the matter to community leaders.
One of them, Nomsa Hlatshwayo, said the place where Tshuku was cornered is known as a thug hideout.
“Those trees need to be cut down,” she said.