South African Triathlete Attacked with Chainsaw Tried Hacking His Legs Off

A TOP South African triathlete was dragged from his bike by three thugs who tried to hack off his legs with a chainsaw.

Gwala was cycling in Durban in the early hours of Tuesday morning when three men approached him, dragged him from his bike and to some bushes.

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.

With a promising sporting career, Gwala had already competed in two global triathlons.

"He tried offering them his cellphone and money, but they pinned him down and tried to saw off his leg", said De la Porte.

Jackson said the attackers also started sawing his left leg before stopping and fleeing.

Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala told the BBC that a case of attempted murder is being investigated.

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Dennis Jackson, the director of the Elite Athlete Development program for the area's KwaZulu-Natal province, confirmed to the AP that Gwala has already undergone successful surgery since the incident, relaying the surprise attack from Gwala's own words.

Surgeons are confident that they can save Gwala's leg. They were cutting one foot, he was fighting and screaming, and when they got to the bone they got stuck.

"I have never heard of any enemies that he may have", he said.

Durban is located on South Africa's coast. "We also need to make a stand so that we can cycle safely her in South Africa because we all know it is very unsafe (for cyclists) at the moment", said Schoeman.

He had been planning to compete in the South African national championship in two weeks.

South African Olympic triathlon bronze medalist Henri Schoeman called the attack "disgusting" on Twitter and questioned how safe athletes were on South African roads.

  • Tabitha Byrd