Crowdfunding to help chainsaw attack victim, Mhlengi Gwala

Crowdfunding to help chainsaw attack victim, Mhlengi Gwala

Crowdfunding to help chainsaw attack victim, Mhlengi Gwala

Triathlete Mhlengi Gwala was badly injured when robbers attacked him with a chainsaw on Tuesday morning, News24 reported.

Gwala, who competed at the world triathlon grand final in Rotterdam recently, is recovering in hospital following the attack in Durban in the early hours of Tuesday, and his injuries are not life threatening.

But instead of taking his items, the men reportedly dragged him to a private area where they tried to saw off his legs. Director of the Elite Athlete Development Programme which Gwala is part of, Dennis Jackson, told TimesLive that the motive is a mystery.

Gwala competed at the 2017 global world triathlon grand final in Rotterdam in September in the 25-29 male category, finishing 45th.

Shange, Gwala's training partner, told the BBC that doctors expected to save his legs.

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Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala told the BBC the attackers could be charged with attempted murder.

Gwala's ordeal is eerily similar to the 1994 beating of Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, whose leg was nearly broken by Tonya Harding's husband - an attack that left other athletes reeling. They kept on cutting and when they got to the bone, because the saw was not that sharp, the saw got stuck.

Gwala's legs were X-rayed and he is scheduled for an operation on Wednesday. "We also need to make a stand so that we can cycle safely her in South Africa because we all know it is very risky (for cyclists) at the moment", said Schoeman. He said the saw missed a main artery and that surgeons are confident they can save the leg.

"Mhlengi doesn't know why they left". Absolutely disgusting! How safe are we on SA roads? 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.

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