Triath­lete on long road to re­cov­ery


AS DUR­BAN triath­lete Mh­lengi Gwala rides the ar­du­ous road to re­cov­ery after three un­known men at­tempted to saw off his legs dur­ing a train­ing run, he says the pub­lic’s con­tin­u­ous show of sup­port has been com­fort­ing and ther­a­peu­tic.

On Thurs­day, he cel­e­brated his 27th birthday and, as a treat, renowned sports pre­sen­ter Robert Marawa had Gwala as a spe­cial guest on his Thurs­day Night Live with Marawa show, which is aired weekly on Dstv chan­nel Su­per­sport4.

Once again, Gwala was over­whelmed by the birthday greet­ings and “get well” wishes he re­ceived on air.

Gwala, a Ch­ester­ville res­i­dent, was left for dead last month when his at­tack­ers used a chain­saw, which was later con­firmed by doc­tors, to cut off his legs.

The bru­tal at­tack stirred a groundswell of sup­port which in­cluded a crowd­fund­ing ini­tia­tive that raised more than R600 000 for his med­i­cal bills.

He was dis­charged from hos­pi­tal a day be­fore the Easter hol­i­days, and made his first pub­lic ap­pear­ance this week, when he boarded a flight to Johannesburg for the en­gage­ment with Marawa.

His friend Sandile Shange was along­side him dur­ing the TV ap­pear­ance.

“Since the news broke about my at­tack, I have been flooded with mes­sages of sup­port and peo­ple vis­ited me while I was in the hos­pi­tal. I never thought peo­ple would recog­nise me. I’m truly grate­ful.”

Dur­ing his in­ter­view with Marawa, Gwala re­lived last month’s at­tack and the sub­se­quent sup­port he re­ceived from across the globe.

Gwala said Dr Kevin Sub­ban was im­pressed with his rate of progress after a check-up ear­lier this week. “Apart from some mi­nor pain, I am do­ing well. Al­though my doc­tor has a date in mind when I would be strong enough to get back to the train­ing, I feel the strength re­turn­ing to my legs.”

He had his first re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ses­sion with a bioki­neti­cist at a sports med­i­cal fa­cil­ity sta­tioned at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium, this week.

Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant Colonel Thu­lani Zwane said no progress has been

Mh­lengi Gwala had his first re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ses­sion with bioki­neti­cist Jaryd Ru­dolph in Dur­ban this week.

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