A CROWDFUNDING initiative has raised more than R596 000 for triathlete, Mhlengi Gwala, who was attacked by three men who attempted to cut one of his leg off using a hacksaw on Tuesday.
The ‘Get Mhlengi back on his bike’ campaign on backabuddy was started by JP Valverde to raise funds to support Gwala with medical expenses, transportation, bike replacement and rehabilitation costs.
Gwala, a Chesterville resident, was cycling near the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College Campus) around 3.30am when he was stopped by three men and dragged into the bushes. He told them to take his valuables, including his iPhone, Garmin and his bicycle, but the men did not take anything and instead tried to cut off one of his legs using a hacksaw.
Related story: Suspects attack triathlete with handsaw
On Wednesday, the 26-year-old underwent surgery at a private hospital.
His friend and training partner, Sandile Shange said the operation had been a success.
“I will be seeing him later today but we spoke on Wednesday evening. He is able to talk and is in a lot of pain understandably. He is a strong-minded person and he has been blown away by the support shown by fellow South Africans,” he said.
A case of attempted murder has been opened at Umbilo SAPS.
Durban North Olympic medalist, Henri Schoeman, who knows Gwala personally, said all South Africans must stand behind Gwala and support him through his recovery.
*Correction to the initial article-Speaking to Northglen News this morning, Sandile Shange confirmed the weapon used was indeed a hacksaw and not a chainsaw as initially reported. The original article has been amended.