- Gumede was driving when he encountered the scene of Gwala's attack
- The attackers fled
- Gumede took the badly injured Gwala to hospital in the nick of time
Security inspector Themba Gumede has recalled how he interrupted triathlete Mhlengi Gwala's attackers and saved his life.
Gumede, 35, works for Fidelity Security, Briefly.co.za learned. He was on his way to inspect a site when he encountered the scene of the attack last Tuesday.
Speaking to The Mercury, he said the three attackers were apparently trying to cut off Gwala's legs with a saw. They fled when they saw the headlights of his van.
I saw a man standing on one leg, waving a torch. At first I thought it was the police... but when I got closer, I saw he had on a training kit, so I thought he had a cramp or something.
When he stopped the car, Gwala limped on one leg, opened the passenger door, got in, and asked Gumede to take him to hospital.
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I thought he was dying. When we got to hospital and I put him in the wheelchair, I felt like he was fading. I told him ‘no baba, be strong’. He was badly injured, very, very bad.
Fortunately, doctors swiftly attended to Gwala and transferred him to another hospital. He is now recuperating after an operation.
Remarkably, he said he's keen on getting back on the "road Ride and Run again."
Gumede insists that he's no hero and that Gwala, in fact, is the hero:
For me, I helped a person who needed it; it made no difference who he was. When you help someone, you don’t do it because you expect someone will do something for you and thank you.
I did it because it was instinctual to help. That is how I was brought up, that is how my family is. For me, the glory was in helping that man, not the praise now.
He later visited Gwala, who, along with his family, warmly thanked him for saving his life.
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