Idris Pandor, the owner of Gem Schoolwear, says it was the Almighty (God) that saved his wife after she was stabbed seven times during a morning walk on the Durban promenade.
DURBAN: Idris Pandor, the owner of Gem Schoolwear, says it was the Almighty (God) that saved his wife after she was stabbed seven times during a morning walk on the Durban promenade.
Pandor said his wife, 54, and two friends were walking near the public paddling pools at around 5.30am on Sunday when four men, one of whom had a knife, approached them.
He said his wife was pushed into a crouch position. She was stabbed on her shoulders and back.
Pandor said her friends shouted for help but passers-by were afraid to intervene.
“They took her prescription sunglasses before they ran away. She never takes any cash or valuables during her walks, except for the necessities. I’m not sure why they didn’t take her cellphone and car keys.”
Pandor, who planned on meeting his wife at the beach after her walk, wanted to know where the police had been.
“When Covid was at its peak, we were not allowed to step foot on the beach. The police were swarming the place. Now when our lives are being threatened, where were they?
“This is a world-class promenade. It’s frequented by joggers and families with little kids. It’s also a hotspot for tourists and is seen as a safe haven. The police need to ensure the area is secure from criminals. Even the municipality should employ security.”
His wife was treated at a private hospital and was discharged that later day.
Pandor’s wife, who declined to be named, said she was still in pain and was traumatised by what had happened.
She said she saw four men walk down a flight of stairs to the beach and immediately warned her friends to be careful.
“The next thing I knew, I was pushed to the ground and my headscarf was in the sand. I did not see their faces nor hear their voices. I didn’t even see the knife. I felt like I was being punched or beaten not knowing I was being stabbed.”
She was unsure why she was the only one targeted or why they had taken her glasses, which would be of no use to them.
“My takkies and Garmin watch were worth more but they just took my glasses and ran.”
“Maybe they wanted my cellphone but I was in a crouch position and they couldn’t reach it.”
She said while her friends tried to draw the attention of others at the beach, no one intervened.
“There was not a policeman in sight. They are quick to give us tickets for expired car licences disks but where are they when we really need them?”
She said she saw a relative at the beachfront shortly after the incident.
“We both hugged each other and cried. I still did not know I was stabbed until the blood was everywhere. I am a breast cancer survivor. Three weeks ago, I went swimming with the sharks in Scottburgh. I survived all of that to get attacked while walking.”
She said the the Durban beachfront was not a place for thugs.
“I am happy it was me and not one of our young, beautiful mothers who frequent the beach. There are old people who look forward to their walks there while children love playing in the sea sand.
“The promenade needs to be protected. We need to get rid of these shady characters. The police needs to be proactive in finding those who did this.”
Senior superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, metro police spokesperson, said the department was aware of the matter and that it was an isolated incident.
He said metro police officers patrolled the promenade 24 hours to ensure crime was at a minimum.
“We have interacted with the uMhlanga Urban Improvement Precinct, SAPS, metro police, so we have a combined multi-pronged approach towards patrolling the beachfront, including the beachfront hotels. We urge people to please report any incidents of crime to 031 361 0000.”
Colonel Thembeka Mbele, a provincial police spokesperson, said a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was opened at Durban Central police station.
“It is alleged by the complainant that whilst she was walking alongside the beach in the upper Marine Parade area, she was accosted by four suspects who were running towards her. They pushed her on the ground, stabbed her seven times and took her sunglasses before fleeing the scene.”
The eThekwini Municipality did not respond at the time of publication.