Robbers throw acid on Malawian man: A callous, cruel and heartbreaking attack, says employer

2018-06-05 17:29


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A 36-year-old Malawian man, who works in KwaZulu-Natal, is recovering in hospital after acid was thrown on him during a robbery over the weekend, according to his employer.

Abdulgani Rahman, the owner of Amina's Wonder Spice, told News24 on Tuesday that his employee, Ismail Mchingula, took a taxi to his home in Parlock when he was attacked on Sunday evening.

Rahman, who visited Mchingula in hospital shortly after the attack, said Mchingula had visited a sick friend in Chatsworth and had taken a taxi from Durban's CBD.

"Ismail jumped into a taxi after he was told it would go past where he needed to stop. However, when he asked to jump out near his home, three men seated behind him in the taxi told him he was not going anywhere."

Rahman said Mchingula was taken to Lindelani, where his cellphone, shoes and R2 500 was taken from him.

"He was also assaulted before one of the men threw a white substance on him. When I saw him, it was clear that it had particularly injured his face and even torso."

Rahman described the injuries as severe.

"His lips are swollen. His skin on his face is like leather and his forearms [are] burnt to the point where you can see the blood capillaries."

Trying to get home

Rahman said that he had tried to get home after the attack but struggled to find help.

"He was trying to get a taxi, but he was blinded. When he did stop a taxi, the driver did not take him. He eventually found water in a nearby home where he washed his eyes. The chemicals however, ate through his clothes."

Rahman said Mchingula walked from 23:00 on Sunday until 04:40 on Monday to get from Lindelani to his home in Parlock.

"No one wanted to give him a lift. By the time he got home, he was practically naked. Before alerting anyone, he went to his room and changed. He then called out to his landlord, who took him to hospital."

A hardworking, God-fearing victim

Rahman described Mchingula as a devout Muslim who worked hard.

"It is heartbreaking. I do not know if it is a xenophobic attack or not, but it is callous and cruel. They could have robbed him, but they maimed him also. He prays five times a day, something very few people actually do."

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said Point SAPS were investigating charges of robbery and assault.

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