Police ‘left wounded man’

2009-02-15 00:00

A man who had been stabbed 15 times by his attacker at Ashburton was left at the side of the road by police, with his attacker nearby, after they left the scene saying the incident had happened just outside their area of jurisdiction.

Stuart Knight, the chairman of the Town Hill community police forum, told The Witness last week that he was alerted to the incident by one of his staff members who heard the wounded man crying out for help.

Following an interview with the wounded victim known only as Phakathi, Knight relayed how the events unfolded.

He said that Phakathi went to the suspect’s home to confront him on Sunday night last week about malicious rumours the suspect was said to have spread about him.

The two argued and the suspect then fetched a knife, allegedly stabbing Phakathi 15 times, even following him and stabbing him as he ran away.

Knight said Phakathi collapsed in the bush and spent the night alone, bleeding and in agony. He called for help, but it was only early the next morning that help arrived in the form of Knight’s employee, who called Knight, who then summoned the police on Monday morning.

“I called 10111 and asked for the Dog Unit to be sent out to track the suspect, but they were not available, so Alexandra Road police were dispatched.”

Knight said Alexandra Road police later arrived on the scene and questioned Phakathi and other witnesses who identified the suspect, who was still in the area.

Knight said the police then questioned the suspect themselves as he was close by, asking him where the knife he used to stab Phakathi was. But they left before the ambulance arrived.

“They left Phakathi in the care of community members who are terrified of the suspect who only got out of prison two weeks ago. What if he had decided to finish the job and kill Phakathi?”

Knight said police should have arrested the suspect immediately and ensured Phakathi’s safety.

After the ambulance arrived and took Phakathi to hospital, Camperdown police arrived, but when the suspect saw them coming he fled into the bush and evaded arrest.

Knight later organised for Town Hill police to interview Phakathi in Grey’s Hospital and open a case, which was to be transferred to Camperdown. Knight said the protocol is simple. “They should have opened a case immediately.”

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said yesterday that the matter is being investigated as a complaint against the police. “We do not condone this sort of behaviour by police. If the allegations are found to be true, the appropriate action will be taken against the members involved,” said Budhram.

It is not known whether the suspect has been arrested yet.

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