Mhlengi Gwala, South African Triathlete, Attacked With Saw

Posted March 08, 2018

ROBBERS used a hacksaw to try and cut off a South African triathlete's legs when they attacked while he was on his way to a training session, the sportsman's colleagues said today.

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.

"They dragged him to the side of the road to some bushes, took a saw and started cutting his legs".

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Gwala overcame drug and alcohol addictions and went on to represent South Africa at worldwide competitions in Chicago in 2015 and in the Netherlands previous year, Jackson said. The three attackers sawed into Gwala's right calf and damaged muscle, nerves and bone, Jackson said.

Shange said the attackers only stopped cutting on one leg because the blade was too blunt and got stuck at the bone. The athlete had offered his cell phone, wallet and bicycle to the assailants, who still went for his legs and were speaking in a language that Gwala could not understand, Jackson said.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the attack had not yet been reported and so could not comment further on the incident.

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Mhelgi Gwala, 27, was out on a training ride when he was pulled into bushes by his attackers, who cut half way through one leg before starting on the the other.

"I have never heard of any enemies that he may have", Jackson told the Associated Press. "We all stand behind you and support you as we need to make cycling safer on the roads in South Africa!"

Reportedly, doctors say Gwala will be able to walk again.

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Gwala has represented South Africa at global competitions in Chicago in 2015 and in the Netherlands previous year.