Now, the 52-year-old former SAPS foreman is warning others to think twice before employing people off the street.
Allen Arumugam told POST he did not know who to trust any more.
“For years, the suspect has been working as a gardener in the area for families,” he said. “When I saw him last Monday, I recognised him because about two years ago, when he collapsed at a supermarket, I took him to hospital.”
Arumugam said he chatted to the man about working for him and he agreed.
“On Tuesday morning (last week) he came to my home and I instructed him on what needed to be done.I helped him load rubble on to the back of my van and we headed to the DSW dump site near Mondi. The suspect and I chatted and he asked me if I could take him to the beach because he wanted to collect sea water.”
Arumugam described the man’s behaviour as normal.
“He was friendly and I did not suspect anything. When we got to the dump site, I had to wait for an empty container in order to offload the rubble. While waiting, I saw the suspect chatting to one of the employees at the dump site.”
Arumugam, a diabetic who was tired at the time, said when a container became available, he was told by the employee to drive to it.
“I told the suspect to offload the rubble and I fell asleep. A few minutes later, I heard the glass from my van window being removed and when I opened my eyes, I saw the gardener coming at me with a knife. He was going straight for my neck.”
Arumugam said he quickly wrapped his hands around the man’s neck.
“This did not stop him and he continued to attack me. I was bleeding profusely and no one came to my aid. He grabbed my wallet which contained just over R2 000, before fleeing.”
“From my experience I want people to be more cautious because not everyone you try to help deserves it.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm had been opened at Wentworth Police Station.