It is unsure what lies ahead on the road to recovery for South African triathlete, Mhlengi Gwala after he was brutally attacked by criminals with a chainsaw in a bid to hack off his legs, on Tuesday morning.
The 26-year-old is set to undergo leg surgery after he was said to have been badly injured. The extent of his injuries remain unknown at this stage.According to media reports, Gwala had been training and was cycling at about 3:15am when he was accosted by three men and dragged into nearby bushes in the vicinity of the University of KwaZulu Natal.
It is believed that Gwala was under the impression that he was being robbed and offered his assailants his cellphone and cash but instead they held him down and tried to saw off his legs. The motive for the attack remains a mystery and it is unknown what caused Gwala’s attackers to flee enabling him to drag himself to safety and seek help.
He was reported to have been assisted by a passing private security officer. Gwala’s scheduled surgery and recovery will see him miss the South African Triathlon Champs in Bloemfontein in two weeks’ time. Meanwhile, fellow sportsmen were shocked by the brutality of the attack and triathlete, Henri Schoeman took to Twitter to express his shock and rage: ‘@H_Schoeman – A friend of mine, cycling in the Durban area was robbed by three people this morning, Then they attempted to saw off both legs with a chainsaw. Blade too blunt and only got half way through one and started on the other. Absolutely disgusting! How safe are we on SA roads?’
Gwala has represented South Africa in two international triathlons.