‘I now fear for my life’

2010-11-16 00:00

A YOUNG man found chained and unconscious in Pietermaritzburg early on Tuesday last week has claimed that the attack was the second he has suffered in 15 months and he now fears for his life.

Bongani Jili (23), of the Elandskop area of Vulindlela, is recovering in hospital from his injuries and the effects of a drug that he was forced to swallow.

The name of the hospital has been withheld for his safety.

He can only remember being thrown into the Dorpspruit on Monday evening. He was found the next morning in chains next to a railway line.

“I woke up in the hospital bed very confused because I could only remember standing on a long queue at East [Masukwana] Street taxi rank,” said Jili.

A nurse at the hospital said that Jili was unconscious when he was admitted. It is suspected that his attackers forced him to swallow a strong drug.

Jili, who works for a private company in the city, said that while he was in the queue waiting to board a taxi home, he was approached by a man only known as Xolani, who asked him for a cigarette.

“As I did not have a cigarette, Xolani suggested that we go and buy one at a nearby tavern. As I waited outside the tavern, three men came out and attacked me. Xolani and another man joined in and they pulled me and dragged me to an overhead bridge.

“The men were strangling and suffocating me.

“They forced a bitter liquid down my mouth while one of them was hitting me with an iron bar. After pick-pocketing me they pushed me into the stream and pressed me down.”

He said he had more than R100 and a cellphone in his pockets, which he lost during the attack. The criminals also took his bag.

He is still mystified as to how came to be found chained on a railway line.

A similar attack happened in August last year. He said it started when he was waiting to take a taxi to work in Elandskop.

He said three men offered him a lift to town. For no apparent reason they started assaulting him. They drove to the Boston area where they forced him to swallow a liquid.

“In Boston one man suggested that I should be shot in the head, but another man said they rather cut my throat,” he said.

When the vehicle stopped, he managed to fight the attackers off and ran away. He said he collapsed “in the middle of houses and I was taken to Edendale Hospital”.

The CEO at the hospital where Jili was admitted after the latest attack said the results of a test to identify the drug he was made to drink are awaited. “We suspect that it was brake fluid, because his mind was in a very bad way. He has not fully recovered.”

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the police are investigating a case of assault and robbery. No one has yet been arrested.

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