A woman recalled watching helplessly as a man was assaulted by two men for his cellphone in broad daylight and in full view of the public.
A day later, Westley Dye’s mother Barbara posted on Facebook that her son had died and asked for witnesses to come forward and assist the police with the arrest of the two men.
A case was opened at Mountain Rise SAPS. Police spokesperson, Captain Kholeka Mhlongo said an inquest docket is being investigated.
“He was assaulted last Tuesday and went to the hospital the next day after experiencing pains. He died later from internal injuries,” said Mhlongo.
The woman who witnessed Dye being assaulted, said the scene was traumatic for herself, her daughter and her seven-year-old grandson who were driving with her at that time.
“My grandson saw everything because it was happening by his window. The first few days were bad for him,” said the woman, who wished to remain unnamed.
She said the incident happened on the N3 offramp to Dr Chota Motala Road. She said she was at the offramp when she saw Dye being mugged by two men on the side of the road.
“I think they stabbed him twice, one stabbed him in the back while the other one stabbed him in his stomach,” said the woman. The two men then got away with just Dye’s cellphone.
Mhlongo however said there were no stab wounds reported.
“Being a woman and the first car to arrive as they grabbed him and started stabbing him, all I could do was press my hooter frantically. What saddens me most is that so many other cars with men in just looked on as the traffic was held up,” the woman said.
“He stood up and leaned against the barrier after the two men had left. The cars behind me were already hooting because I had blocked the traffic, so I had to move. I’m not sure if they saw what happened or if my car was blocking them,” said the woman.
She added she was told that an ambulance had been called. She said the two attackers are probably between the ages of 18 and 22 and their faces were visible since they were not wearing face masks. “What has life come to in Pietermaritzburg that we lose our lives for a cellphone? People are not safe anymore when walking to work.”
Not the first stabbing in the area
On the Facebook post by Barbara, people sent their condolences, and many were shocked at the increase in crime in the area.
One of the comments read, “This [man] is not the first one to be stabbed to death in that area and it’s so unfortunate that he is not the last, and the police are not doing enough to catch them. People are killed and mugged on a broad daylight every day when walking from the mall.”
The police could not confirm of any other similar cases in this area.
“And that’s why I carry so many weapons on my walk to work. The days of safety are long gone and this world we live in is every man for himself and the worst part if you do manage to defend yourself, you’ll be charged with intent,” read another comment.
Others also warned people about criminals targeting people walking to the Liberty Mall along the N3 offramp.
Attempts to reach the family were unsuccessful.