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'I thought I was dying as the dogs ate me'

By unknown | 2007-08-20 00:00:00.0

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

Johannes Thabane kicked until he could no more, as his weary legs succumbed to a pack of vicious pitbull-cross dogs on an Elandsfontein plot, near Vereeniging.

He was left with no option, but to bury his head under his arm and wait for that fatal moment.

"For about half-an- hour I had tried to fight them off by kicking and punching, but eventually I couldn't kick anymore.

"I just gave up and protected my face and waited to die," Thabane told Sowetan from his hospital bed at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital yesterday.

It is two weeks since Thabane was attacked, but he still winces in pain as he relates his horrific encounter with the vicious dogs.

He was on his way to negotiate a contract with John Beetge's neighbour for a carpentry job.

Beetge is the owner of the dogs.

"As I was walking past the gate, one dog came charging at me. I shouted 'voetsek', but it continued to bark. Suddenly, another dog came charging. I thought it would stop and the next thing I knew it was on my shoulder, gripping my neck.

"I went down with it and it let loose. I tried to push it away with both my hands, but my hands got stuck in its mouth.

"I wanted to grab its neck.

"In the meantime, the other dog was busy with my legs," said a visibly traumatised Thabane.

He was fighting a losing battle because every time he kicked, he was bitten.

The same happened when he tried to punch one of the dog.

Four more dogs joined the frenzy and it just became too much for him.

"I could hear the sound of them ripping my flesh. But I couldn't do anything, because even my hands were too weak.

"I thought I was going to die as the dogs literally ate me alive," he said.

As the dogs continued to bite greedily and sometimes fighting each other for a better position, a woman who was passing, rushed to alert her bosses who came to Thabane's rescue.