Bandits ambush triathlete, almost saw off his legs

Jessica Allison
March 8, 2018

Gwala, who has competed in two worldwide triathlons, was rushed to the Albert Luthuli Hospital in a serious condition.

Generous South Africans are starting to dig into their own pockets to help promising triathlon competitor Mhlengi Gwala pay for the medical treatment he requires after a gruesome attack by chainsaw wielding criminals.

Mhlengi Gwala, 27, was undergoing surgery after the attack which occurred before dawn on Tuesday in the coastal city of Durban, said Dennis Jackson, director of the elite athlete program for KwaZulu-Natal province.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that the attack had not been reported and could not comment further on the issue. Gwala thought the men were coming to rob him so he offered them his bike and everything else of value he had.

The 26-year-old, Mhlengi Gwala, was riding a bicycle on March 6, at 3:15 a.m., when three men attempted to saw into his legs with a handsaw. They were cutting one foot, he was fighting and screaming, and when they got to the bone they got stuck. They instead dragged him to the side of the road into nearby bushes.

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Jackson said the attackers also started sawing into Gwala's left leg before fleeing, enabling the athlete to crawl to a road and flag down a passing vehicle to take him to a hospital.

Jackson said he was told the assailants were speaking in a language that Gwala could not understand.

Gwala's athletic sponsor Sue de la Porte confirmed that the initial motive for the attack appeared to be robbery.

"I haven't quite got to grips with exactly what happened", Jackson said, according to TimesLive. "We are a little bit confused, we don't know who is behind everything".

Gwala is a strong contender for the race which is a 40k cycle, 10k run and 1.7k swim.

Other reports by My Hot News

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