Mhlengi Gwala's medical fund increased to R500‚000 as donors keep giving

08 March 2018 - 11:26 By Timeslive
Mhlengi Gwala
Mhlengi Gwala
Image: Facebook/IRONMAN South Africa

Durban sportsman Mhlengi Gwala must be taking heart from the number of well-wishers he has as he recovers from a handsaw attack earlier this week.

An outpouring of support for the triathlete has seen the fundraising target for his medical bills increased to R500‚000 as donations pour in.

A grand total of R383‚866.45 has been donated - in just over a day.

The original fundraising target for Gwala was R100‚000 when the crowdfunding campaign was launched‚ which was raised to R300‚000 when the generosity of fellow athletes and ordinary people became evident. By early Thursday morning a total of R226‚675.07 had been donated for his medical needs‚ along with messages of encouragement for him.

"Mhlengi - looking forward to our next worlds together‚" commented athlete Jason Wilford‚ while Nickey Seger shared‚ "In the end only kindness matters! Speedy recovery fellow triathlete. See you back in action soon". Both contributed just over R1‚000.

Three men accosted Gwala on Tuesday. They pulled him off his bike and into some bushes‚ then took a handsaw and tried to cut his leg. He is now receiving medical treatment in hospital. The motive is still under investigation. Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said an attempted murder case had been opened at the Umbilo police station.

On the Triathlon SA Facebook page‚ Erika Lawrence said: "This is the worse thing I've ever heard! What on earth is going on with these people? The excruciating pain that he must've gone through. No man should ever have to go through something like this or live with the memory. Besides physical help‚ this will come with great need for psychological help. I'm so sorry for what he had to go though."

Claire Holtak commented: "May the evil that did this to you be outweighed by the care‚ good wishes and heartfelt prayers coming your way today and the months to come. May you be miraculously healed and protected from damage and trauma!"

The crowdfunding campaign for the promising triathlon competitor is running on the BackABuddy website‚ titled “Get Mhlengi back on his bike".

“We are hoping to raise funds to support him with all his medical expenses‚ transportation‚ bike replacement and rehabilitation costs. We want to see him back on his bike!‚” JP Valverde asked supporters.