Cape Town -
What started as a fun night out playing pool turned into a nightmare for a first-year college student after a gang of men jumped his party of five and beat him into a coma.
Jean Lambrechts is in the ICU at Tygerberg Hospital after a vicious and reportedly unprovoked attack.
Doctors said his condition was stable.
The 19-year-old hasn’t opened his eyes nor spoken a word since he was admitted over the weekend.
On Saturday morning, at around 1.30, Lambrechts and four friends were on their way to play pool at the popular nightspot Stones on Edward Street in Bellville.
Juan Strydom, 20, was part of the party of five and said they had all been laughing and joking about leaving things so late.
While walking through an underground parking lot on the way to the club they ran into a gang of eight men.
“They were well-dressed – they looked like they could’ve been at clubs,” said Strydom.
The gang started following and threatening them.
“The big guy pulled off his shirt and asked us if we wanted to start something,” he said.
Lambrechts had stepped in to try to reason with the group of men.
Strydom said his friend was being calm and was just telling the men to relax.
“But then he was punched in the jaw,” he said. The men then attacked them and Strydom was forced to defend himself.
Amid the chaos he could see them stomping on Lambrechts’ head.
“He was passed out on the ground and they just kept kicking him.”
The eight men eventually fled from the scene, leaving Strydom and his friends to rush a comatose Lambrechts to the hospital.
Strydom said the gang hadn’t taken anything.
Strydom suffered a few minor cuts and a bruised neck.
On Saturday, doctors removed two blood tumours from Lambrechts’ brain.
While the 19-year-old is steadily regaining control over his neck, his mother Henrietta Sauer is still distraught as it isn’t clear yet how much damage was done to his brain.
“I just want to hear his voice and hear that everything is alright,” she said.
Lambrechts was meant to start as a first-year at Prestige Academy on Monday, but his mother said those plans were put on hold while he recovered.
“We are just going to have to take this day by day,” she added.
She said her son was always calm and friendly and never looked for a fight.
She hoped that the people who did this to him would be brought to justice.
Police said they were aware of the incident and were investigating.
No suspects had been arrested at the time of going to print.