Tags: mhlengi gwala | south africa | triathlete | saw

Mhlengi Gwala, South African Triathlete, Attacked With Saw

Image: Mhlengi Gwala, South African Triathlete, Attacked With Saw

(Yuriy Chaban/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 March 2018 11:59 AM

Mhlengi Gwala, a South African triathlete, was attacked with a saw early Tuesday, when three men allegedly attempted to cut off his legs, the BBC News reported.

Gwala, 26, is in stable condition in a local hospital after the accident, according to training partner Sandile Shange, who added that Gwala has "a long walk to recovery," the BBC News said.

Police representative Nqobile Gwala told the BBC News that the case is being investigated as an attempted murder.

"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," Shange told the BBC, saying that the incident happened during a training ride early Tuesday in Durban, in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.

"They dragged him to the side of the road to some bushes, took a saw and started cutting his legs. They kept on cutting and when they got to the bone, because the saw was not that sharp, the saw got stuck. When they saw it was getting stuck they started on the other leg," Shange continued.

Dennis Jackson, director of the elite athlete program for KwaZulu-Natal, told The Guardian that the alleged attackers missed a main artery and surgeons are confident they can save the leg. After the attackers fled, Gwala crawled to a road and flagged down a passing car to take him to a hospital, Jackson said to the newspaper.

Jackson told The Guardian that Gwala had overcome drug and alcohol addictions to represent South Africa at international competitions in Chicago in 2015 and in the Netherlands last year.

"I have never heard of any enemies that he may have," Jackson said, according to The Guardian. "He is a wonderful ambassador for the sport."

The BBC News wrote that Gwala expected to participate in the South African national championships this month.

South Africa Olympic triathlete Henri Schoeman, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, wished Gwala well in two Twitter post.

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South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala was attacked with a saw early Tuesday, when three men allegedly attempted to cut off his legs.
mhlengi gwala, south africa, triathlete, saw
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2018-59-07
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 11:59 AM
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