Cape Town - A Bloemfontein family’s holiday in Cape Town ended in bloodshed on Thursday when a “mentally disturbed” man attacked them with a knife at Cape Town International Airport.
A man, 61, and his son, 23, were stabbed multiple times. They were receiving medical treatment at Medi-Clinic Hospital in Gardens.
The family did not want to be named but told the Cape Times about their experience.
“We dropped off one of our sons to get a flight… We went to level two of the parking lot. My son was ahead of myself and my wife. A huge man came behind my son and tackled him to the ground,” said the father.
“I thought it was a mugger. He beat my son and then it appeared he had a knife. I grabbed him off my son and then he went for me. He stabbed me three times in the left arm.
“Three female police officers came but they didn’t have handcuffs. They then ran off to call male police officers with guns. They forced him to the ground and took him to a holding cell.
He said it was “disgusting that this happened at the airport.
“This should not happen at the airport. It’s an area where tourists arrive. It’s a window to our country. The police took us through the arrivals hall with blood all over our clothes. What impression does that create?” said the man.
His wife said the attack had not appeared to be a robbery.
A doctor at the hospital told the family their son’s stab wounds were “pretty deep”. He had been stabbed in both shoulders near the spine and remains hospitalised.
Cape Town airport’s acting spokeswoman Deborah Francis confirmed the assault. “The suspect appeared to be unstable as he begged the police to shoot him,” she said.
The airport has on average 23 000 visitors passing through its doors during the festive season.