Triathlete Mhlengi Gwala was attacked by three men, who dragged him to a bush and tried to cut his legs off, in the east coast city of Durban yesterday.
The attack reportedly commenced in the early hours of Tuesday morning while Gwala partook in a training ride in Durban.
His athletic sponsor, Sue de la Porte, said Gwala was then dragged into the surrounding bushes by the men who then attempted to saw the 26-year-old's leg off. After the attackers fled, Gwala crawled to a road and flagged down a passing vehicle to take him to a hospital, Jackson said to the newspaper.
Dennis Jackson, director of Elite Athlete Development program, told TimesLive that a motive for the attack remained a mystery. "He dragged himself out of the bush onto the road and a private security auto picked him up and took him to the nearest hospital", said Dennis Jackson‚ director of the Elite Athlete Development program that Gwala is a part of, via Times Live. They were cutting one foot, he was fighting and screaming, and when they got to the bone they got stuck.
Gwala's legs were X-rayed and he is scheduled for an operation on Wednesday.
Whatever the reason for the freakish attack, it sounds like Gwala will be okay in time.
"He thought they were coming to rob him, stopped and gave them his phone but they didn't want his phone, didn't want his watch or bicycle", Gwala's training partner Sandile Shange told the BBC.
"Two guys were holding his upper body and the other guy was just cutting the leg, and I think when they got to the bone, they got stuck", Shange told the 702 radio station. They also believe Gwala will walk and run again, but he faces a lengthy recovery. "We are a little bit confused, we don't know who is behind everything". "Absolutely disgusting! How safe are we on SA roads?".