Radio host shot, drives to safety

2019-01-22 13:41
This picture was posted on Facebook to confirm that Sbu Buthelezi had survived after being shot multiple times in an alleged botched hijacking. His wellwishers have asked for prayers to help the wounded radio jock.

This picture was posted on Facebook to confirm that Sbu Buthelezi had survived after being shot multiple times in an alleged botched hijacking. His wellwishers have asked for prayers to help the wounded radio jock. (Facebook)

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After being seriously wounded in what’s believed to have been a botched hijacking in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, a bleeding Ukhozi FM radio jock, Sbu Buthelezi, managed to drive about three kilometres to get help.

The popular jock’s white Ford Ranger was riddled with more than 10 bullet holes after he grappled with the armed robbers on Sunday night.

Buthelezi (47), who was hit six times, is recuperating in the intensive care unit at a Pietermaritzburg hospital.

His family are hopeful he will recover after he underwent surgery on Sunday night. The operation was said to have been successful.

Buthelezi, who co-hosts the midday show Ndiza Nathi from noon to 3pm on weekdays, was parked at the side of the road at the corner of Archie Gumede Drive and Moses Mabhida Road at around 9pm when the attempted hijacking took place, according to his close friend, Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo. Njilo said Buthelezi had parked his car to send a text message when he was ambushed by an unknown number of men who fired shots at him.

“He tried to get away and they shot him,” said Njilo.

He said the assailants had knocked on Buthelezi’s window before they started shooting. “We think it was a botched hijacking,” said Njilo.

A police source told The Witness on Monday that they recovered nine empty cartridges at the place where Buthelezi was shot. KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said a case of attempted murder is being investigated by Alexandra Road SAPS.

The radio jock was hit in the chest and arms. Njilo said another bullet was wedged into Buthelezi’s ribcage.

“Last night when I was with him, the doctors managed to take out about five bullets. One bullet is still stuck [inside him] and he will be taken for a scan later today, [Monday]” said Njilo.

Buthelezi managed to flee despite having blurred vision and while bleeding profusely.

He stopped at a service station, where he apparently did not get any help, and then drove to a relative’s home in the Grange area, a few kilometres away from where the incident happened. “He passed out, but his uncle managed to drive him to the hospital quickly because he was also struggling to breathe,” said Njilo.


A manager at the service station, who declined to be named, said none of the petrol attendants or security guards were aware of the incident.

His family said it is not clear where Buthelezi was coming from at the time of the incident. Earlier on that evening, he had been at his business offices in the CBD. It is believed he was shot while returning to his home in Durban.

Buthelezi’s son Mpumelelo, who had been with his father earlier on Sunday evening, said: “We were travelling in separate cars and I expected him to be at home right after me. I was in disbelief after I received a call to say he had been injured. We thank God for sparing his life,” said a distraught Mpumelelo.

Mpumelelo said on Monday that Buthelezi’s mother and siblings were on their way to Pietermaritzburg from Nquthu to be at his bedside.

He said that the family were “keeping strong”. They were particularly emotional about all the well wishes that had been pouring in, Mpumelelo said.

Social networks were abuzz after the story hit Facebook on Monday morning, with many people sending prayers and expressing shock about the attempted hijacking and shooting. Buthelezi, who joined Ukhozi FM in 2008, rose to fame when he hosted the station’s Sunday show, Indumiso.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  hijackings

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