Road rage after Joburg accident sees man stabbed 16 times in hospital

12 January 2021 - 16:52
By Alex Patrick
Karel Venter died six days after he was stabbed 16 times in a hospital emergency ward after a car accident. File picture.
Image: Tyler Olson/ 123RF.com Karel Venter died six days after he was stabbed 16 times in a hospital emergency ward after a car accident. File picture.

A Johannesburg man was stabbed 16 times in hospital in an apparent road rage incident on December 20. He died six days later.

“Sudden, unexpected, unnecessary and senseless.” These were the words used to describe the killing of Karel Venter.

The security reaction officer in Carletonville, west of Johannesburg, was on his way to a call-out on December 20 when he was involved in a collision. He and the six-year-old daughter of the other driver were taken to hospital.

But nobody could predict that after the accident Venter would be seemingly hunted down in the ward and stabbed 16 times by girl's father. He died from the injuries six days later.

According to the police, the suspect is out on bail and his charge of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm has been upgraded to murder.

Venter cannot tell his story, but brother Barrie Venter was there that day.

Karel Venter, 56, was involved in a car accident on the corner of Onyx and Ada Street in Carletonville, Johannesburg, on December 20. The driver of the other vehicle allegedly stabbed Venter 16 times at the hospital after the accident. He died on December 26.
Image: Barrie Venter Karel Venter, 56, was involved in a car accident on the corner of Onyx and Ada Street in Carletonville, Johannesburg, on December 20. The driver of the other vehicle allegedly stabbed Venter 16 times at the hospital after the accident. He died on December 26.

Barrie lives in Kathu in the Northern Cape and would visit his brother once a month. He was in the vehicle on the day of the accident.

“He was on duty and was responding to an incident when a guy jumped the robot. He was injured in the accident but it was not life-threatening. I did not realise it at the time but he was taken to hospital with the other driver's daughter.

“On the scene this man was very arrogant and aggressive. He kept coming to my face saying, 'F**k you! F**k you! F**k you!'

"[After the accident] I was trying to find my brother; I didn't know where they had taken him. That's when my brother's boss called me to say Karel had been attacked at the Carletonville Hospital.

I was 10 minutes too late. He died at 11.40am and I was going to see him and the doctor at 11.50am.
Barrie Venter, victim's brother

“Police assure me they have the tapes [of the incident]. [The suspect] found a pair of surgical scissors and stabbed my brother 16 times,” he said.

Barrie believes the stabbing was premeditated.

“Why did he go to the hospital? Why did he get the scissors?” he asked.

Barrie was not permitted into the hospital because of the lockdown regulations, but eventually Venter joined him outside once his new wounds had been dressed.

“His shirt was soaked in blood - covered in it. Then he started saying, 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe!' I told him to go back inside for help.”

Barrie never saw his brother alive again.

Later, when a nurse who was about to leave the hospital walked past, Barrie asked her to find out what had happened. That's when he learnt that Venter's lung had collapsed and he had to have emergency surgery.

Kwara Kekana from the Gauteng health department spoke on behalf of the Carletonville Hospital. She said the incident occurred in the hospital's emergency area.

She confirmed that the two “arrived in the hospital in separate cars” after an accident which left a child injured. She said the suspect brought his child into the hospital as Venter, who had backache, headache and bruises on both arms and right knee, was brought in.

“The father of the six-year-old stabbed the victim ... in our hospital emergency department. Fortunately, the facility had two police officers present who immediately intervened after the private security officers who attended to the scene were also threatened by the perpetrator.

“The perpetrator was arrested on the spot, with one police officer getting injured in the process.

“The victim [Venter] was taken to Leratong Regional Hospital for higher care intervention,” said Kekana.

Barrie got emotional when he spoke about the last minutes of his brother's life.

“I was 10 minutes too late. He died at 11.40am and I was going to see him and the doctor at 11.50am,” he said.

“We're still traumatised, and our hearts are sore. But luckily we have managed to finalise his funeral. It's been hard because his boss said they had no obligation to pay any costs.”

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