Another woman stabbed at cathedral

2010-10-26 00:00

AN ELDERLY woman was stabbed repeatedly during a robbery on the premises of the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity in the Pietermaritzburg CBD yesterday morning.

The 74-year-old woman, who assists with the cathedral’s archives centre, was walking to her vehicle when a young man attacked her.

She was left bleeding heavily and traumatised, and was taken to Medi-Clinic Hospital.

The man was said to be hanging around the premises for some time before the attack.

This is a second stabbling at the cathedral this month. The first incident took place on October 10 when a woman, Nomcebo Mvelase, was stabbed to death by an unknown man.

The Witness also learnt that there was a burglary at the cathedral some years ago.

An eyewitness of the latest attack, Nathi Nyandeni, said he saw the assailant fighting with a security guard for the woman’s bag, which he won after threatening the guard with his knife.

“I was walking up Longmarket Street when I saw the man threatening the security guard, who had just picked up the handbag.

As the man was wielding his knife the guard just dropped it in fear for his life.”

Nyandeni said that when he saw the attack he shouted “Stop in Jesus’ name!”

He added, “As he was running towards me I tripped him with my foot and he stumbled, but he continued to run down Longmarket.”

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the victim’s handbag contained her ID book, cash and bank cards.

She said the woman suffered stab wounds to both her arms and shoulder when she tried to hold on to her bag.

“Police could not take statements from her because she was too traumatised,” said Jeevan.

Diocese secretary Robin Greenwood said the attacker was seen sitting on one of the benches for some time.

He said the incident has left the church community worried for their safety and that security in the vicinity will need to be looked at.

People are allowed free access to the cathedral premises, he added. “Individuals are allowed to come in, and only the cars are controlled.”

A possible security measure could be to restrict access from the pavement.

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