Man survives brutal assault

2015-02-02 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG man who suffered a vicious assault in Mooi River after being accused of stealing a cellphone, claims to have endured even more trauma at hospital.

Now Thabani Masobo (19), from the Caluza area, and his family are demanding answers after the young man was found lying outside a relative’s home about 13 km from Northdale Hospital, still dressed in hospital pyjamas.

A tale of terror unfolded when Masobo was finally able to tell his story to his family. And after the accusation that led to the alleged assault, the phone in question was found at the shop, and Masobo not implicated in the theft.

He was visiting family in Mooi River when he went to a nearby shop on December 26. On returning to the shop later, he was accused of stealing a cellphone.

A group of people grabbed him, starting an assault that lasted for hours.

Sensing that his denial would not appease his attackers, and seeing an opportunity to get out of the house for help, he promised to “show” them where the cellphone was. While outside neighbours saw him being dragged and alerted the police.

Speaking to The Witness from his hospital bed last week, an emotional Masobo recalled his terrifying ordeal.

“They removed my clothes and tormented me with electric objects. They hit me with blocks and I lost my mind. I eventually admitted to have stolen the phone because I wanted to save my life,” said a tearful Masobo.

“I want them [attackers] to rot in jail. I will never forgive them because I almost died for something I didn’t do.”

He was allegedly also tied up with electric cables and assaulted with an electric iron.

Masobo was rushed to Northdale Hospital on December 27 from the Mooi River Clinic. His severe injuries prompted a transfer to Grey’s Hospital two days later, where he spent nearly three weeks in the ICU, said his cousin Londeka Masobo.

Londeka said she was told by the doctors that Thabani twice suffered cardiac and respiratory arrests. “He was diagnosed with crush syndrome and renal and kidney failure and he might suffer mental problems because of the cardiac arrests.”

After his condition improved, Masobo was referred back to Northdale Hospital.

Last week Monday, at about 9 pm, Londeka found him lying outside their Caluza home, still dressed in hospital pyjamas and without any medication.

“He was not in a good state of mind and had no money for transport as they discharged him at night. I was not consulted as his next of kin. Where did they expect him to go without transport and at night?” she asked.

“I took him back to Northdale. Nurses said he was pestering them that he wanted to go home. If something had happened to him who was going to be accountable? No one has a right to treat another human being like that.”

She said nurses gave her a “stinking attitude” and claimed the hospital did not give Masobo medication.

He acknowledged he has not been getting medication.

 The Department of Health has not responded to requests for comment on the incident.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said four suspects — Thembelani Zitha (33), Mfundo Zitha (28) Phindile Sithole (27) and Sifiso Mchunu (25) — were arrested and charged with attempted murder. The case has been remanded to February 6.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

before

after

V Thabani Masobo

“They removed my clothes and tormented me with electric objects. They hit me with blocks and I lost my mind. I eventually admitted to have stolen the phone because I wanted to save my life.”

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