The Star Early Edition
Badly injured men traumatised in separate attacks
THAPELO Mokoena and Wayne Champion don’t know each other – one is an actor who lives in Vanderbijlpark and the other a banker from Fourways, north of Joburg.
But both of them survived attacks that could have left them dead.
Mokoena’s right leg is in a cast, he uses crutches to walk and his body is covered in bruises after being “deliberately” run over by a motorist and left for dead in what he believes was a race attack.
And Champion’s left arm has limited movement after a rock was thrown through the window of his car as he travelled with his six-months pregnant fiancée.
He believes the attackers were would-be hijackers.
The first incident happened on the night of January 2.
Champion was on holiday in KwaZulu-Natal with his fiancée, Marina Kent.
They were 10km from Scottburgh and driving home at night.
“It felt as if I had been hit by a train.
“Strangely, I saw the brick. But at the speed it was coming towards me, I was powerless to do anything. I heard the window shattering and felt the impact,” he said.
Speaking to The Star yesterday, Champion said although he was badly injured with blood was oozing from the wounds on his arm, he knew he had to keep driving.
“I was scared that if I stopped they were going to hijack us. It was very traumatic and I was very angry.”
After some time, the couple swopped seats and Kent managed to drive to Margate Hospital, where Champion was treated.
“My arm has a whole lot of staples in it and I have limited movement.
“There has been damage to the muscle. I can’t extend it fully and I will have to go to a physiotherapist for further treatment,” he said.
Three days later in Gauteng, Mokoena went for a 10km run on the quiet streets of Vanderbijl- park in the Vaal.
Mokoena is an actor who has appeared in the Hunter’s Dry commercials for several years.
Mokoena, who declined a request for an interview with The Star, wrote a lengthy post titled “A Hate Crime…This is my Story” on his Facebook wall, recounting his ordeal.
“I started my run and it was going well as usual. I reached my 5km mark and started to make my way back. I keep going, and just before I reach 7km it all ended.
“What happened? The next thing I know I wake up on the side of the road bleeding everywhere (from my head, my arms and my legs). I am disorientated, shouting at the man helping me. He keeps saying ‘I’m calling an ambulance, you are badly hurt!’ and I keep saying, No! Take me to my house or I’ll walk there,” he wrote.
He was taken home, and his wife drove him to hospital.
“The same night I wake up in hospital in a lot of pain. I have an open wound in my head and I am being stitched, open wounds on my back, my arms and the back of my legs and a fractured ankle, so I can’t walk. I am screaming as this is taking place.”
In trying to piece together what had happened, rubble collectors who were not far from the accident scene told him that “a red Audi was driving in the fast lane and changed lanes to get into the slow lane to knock me out the road and then got back into the fast lane to drive off”.
“Literally hit and run. I was unconscious for 15 to 20 minutes on the road. According to the two street guys, the driver of the vehicle and his passenger were white males,” he said.
Brick thrown through man’s windscreen, the other was run over