Brave men apprehend crazed knifeman in Alex

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

The families of two victims do not yet know that their loved ones will never return home after being stabbed to death by a 36-year-old man who ran amok yesterday morning in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.

The man is presumed to be mentally disturbed and has been taken to hospital for observation.

A third woman was severely injured during the man's stabbing frenzy and was taken to the Alexandra Clinic.

The knifeman reportedly lives alone in Madala hostel. He left home in the morning wielding a massive carving knife, threatening and lunging at anyone who crossed his path along the teeming London Road and Arkwright Avenue.

"The man is under police guard at a hospital," said Captain Bheki Mavundla. "He has been charged with two murders and with assault with intent to inflict serious bodily harm."

Mavundla said the man would appear in court only after the hospital's psychiatrist had compiled a report on his condition.

"He will face the charges even if he is found to be mentally unfit."

The victims are a 23-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man. They cannot be named as their next-of-kin have not yet been notified.

Neither is believed to have known their alleged killer.

"The woman was stabbed several times in the back and died at the scene. The man was stabbed once in the chest and died on arrival at Alexandra Clinic," Mavundla said.

Sister Lindiwe Ngozi, who attended two of the victims, said: "The man came in first and died on arrival. A copy of his identity document was found in his pocket."

Ngozi said the injured woman came in shortly afterwards with a stab wound on her arm.

"She was screaming for help and said she was lucky to survive the attack," said Ngozi.

Witnesses said the man appeared to be confused as he walked down the streets teeming with rush-hour commuters and flailed away with his "massive knife".

Commuters waiting for taxis ran for their life as he embarked on his orgy of violence. But after he attacked his third victim a group of men disarmed him.

They were reportedly beating him up when police arrived and arrested him.