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Weekly journalist stabbed while following England cricket team

Phil HewittA weekly newspaper entertainments editor was stabbed just minutes after realising his dream of watching England play cricket abroad.

Chichester Observer journalist Phil Hewitt was left with severe bruising and two broken ribs following the attack in Cape Town.

Phil was walking back to a friend’s home after watching the national side play against South Africa in a one-day international earlier this month when a man “suddenly launched at him”, demanding he hand over his camera.

He was then stabbed twice in the leg before being beaten on the ground.

Said Phil of his ordeal: “Stupidly I resisted and his reaction was to thump me in the upper and lower leg left leg and push me into the ground, where we tussled.

“At least they felt like punches, When he started kicking my leg, I saw it was streaming with blood, he had stabbed me. He also kicked me in back and stomach while I was on the ground.”

Phil, who is still being treated in hospital in Cape Town, required 11 stitches for the two deep stab wounds, one of which swelled up with a haematoma.

He was also left with extensive bruising to his back and shoulders and two broken ribs, but is now recovering and being monitored by doctors for liver damage.

Some of the injuries sustained by Phil during the attack

Some of the injuries sustained by Phil during the attack

Phil, 51, added: “The upshot is that I have since been on the right end of the most astonishing kindness.

“I was picked up by a lovely pizza delivery guy in a car. He even took his pizza sign off the roof so he could break every red light to get me to the hospital quicker.

“And the docs and nurses have been outstanding.”

11 comments

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  • February 25, 2016 at 8:00 am
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    Walking around South Africa with your camera on view probably wasn’t the best move. My aunty lives there and loves it, but she drives from secure compound to work to shopping mall to compound and never gets out the car.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 10:48 am
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    I believe that is what feminists would call victim blaming, Jeff.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 11:21 am
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    I have journalist friends in South Africa and the crime rate there is shocking, even worse since apartheid ended. But the racially aggravated crimes against white farming families are almost beyond belief in their sickening cruelty and violence. Even farmers’ children have been murdered in ways too distressing to recount here. Such a pity that Nelson Mandela, a great man, was too old when he finally came to power to really turn South Africa’s fortunes round for the better.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 11:29 am
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    Poor guy…and poor South Africa. That country needs someone a lot better than that cretin Jacob Zuma in charge.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 11:37 am
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    South Africa has wonderful scenery and weather and lousy politics, where large sections of the community still live in what we would regard as slums. I loved my time there, but sadly you do have to watch your back and if you let down your guard you can get into trouble. It should be the greatest country in the world, but until they really give the country back to to the people who were there first (we and other whites invaded remember?) there will always be an edge to the place.
    Sounds like Phil was just unlucky to me, rather trying to blame him.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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    So sorry to hear of injury. Just back from 9 days in Cape Town (ODI and 20/20) and felt we were just getting the hang of it. Bit wild west, especially taxis. Informal “street guards” watch out for you and just hope for tips. Lots of begging/rough sleeping (remember cardboard city at waterloo station in the 80s?). Journalist friends told us of locals having to pay for job interviews, getting the sack for being a trained teacher rather than illiterate (like the head of department), also it’s advantageous to ANC to reduce education standards so govt rewards increased class sizes.) Poor policing in the townships (of 2million people) makes it even harder and more dangerous for millions of responsible (if poor) residents. How sad. Wealthy (if only relatively) and holidaymakers can lock themselves away from the reality but that won’t last for ever. Reality? Anyone know what’s happened to the two women and a man in the container that fell into the Lily goldmine two weeks ago? Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende. Compensation offered before they were even back out of the ground (dead or alive). Not good Vantage Goldfields . Website says they are “praying for them” .

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  • February 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm
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    Woah there! I wasn’t trying to blame him at all – absolutely not – he wouldn’t be expected to know. Maybe the travel people should have advised him better though. I knew journos based at Sun City during the World Cup and they weren’t allowed out, they had to get buses between the compound and the ground, one I knew couldn’t be bothered waiting so got a taxi instead and was fine, but the authorities and FIFA advised strongly against it. A former colleague is from South Afirca, went back there recently, she told me she would only pull over for a police car if it was in a public place. It’s got issues.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 7:41 pm
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    As one who worked in a Third World country for some time, I can tell you exactly how government works in these newly ‘liberated’ former colonies.
    The likes of Mugabe and Zuma try to keep the people ‘dumb and dependent’, skimping on education and paying off their henchmen to ensure loyalty. They get rich while the people eat dirt.
    The same formula applies across Africa and the Caribbean. Top politicians live in big mansions and drive fancy cars. The people live in slums.
    The result? Rampant crime. South Africa has one of worst murder rates in the world.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 8:00 pm
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    Get well soon, Phil. One of the nicest men in journalism – can’t believe this would happen to someone like him. Hope you’re soon back in the best seats in the theatre…..

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  • February 25, 2016 at 9:28 pm
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    Love the pizza delivery driver’s actions – a modern day Good Samaritan indeed

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  • February 27, 2016 at 1:53 pm
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    So sorry to hear your news Phil – dreadful. When will you be up for another run along the prom? I hope you make a full and speedy recovery. Best, Mark

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