Chad Baron was hijacked on June 8 while on his way home from a farewell party.He passed away two weeks ago while being treated at Groote Schuur Hospital. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - The family of a young Strandfontein man left in a coma after being stabbed 15 times and beaten with a brick during a car hijacking have expressed their grief after he died in hospital at the weekend.

Chad Barron, 26, was set to leave for Vietnam last month, but his dream to teach English abroad had been dashed by crime.

“To know Chad is to love Chad. This is just really devastating. He was just such an amazing person,” Barron’s sister Tania told the Cape Times on Sunday.

Tania said the Barron family residence in Agincourt Way, Strandfontein, was teeming with family and friends who came to offer support after hearing news of Chad’s death on Saturday.

Barron’s father Arnold, who had spoken to the Cape Times after the incident on June 9, was too distraught to speak on Sunday. “It has come as quite a blow,” he said.

Barron had gone missing after meeting friends at a farewell party on June 8. His disappearance sparked a massive Facebook campaign to establish his whereabouts when he did not return home that night.

Police found Barron in a critical condition in a dilapidated house in Camp Road, Strandfontein, on June 9.

Police spokesperson Tembinkosi Kinana said three men were arrested and faced charges of attempted murder, but after Barron’s death, the accused could now face charges of murder.

“The support we have received from everyone has been really amazing. We are in awe, and it just goes to show how many people’s lives he impacted,” said Tania.

Strandfontein Social and Economic Development Forum secretary Mandy van Willingh said crime in the area had increased over the past five years.

“It’s sad when a young life with so much potential is cut short by crime. We have had to increase neighbourhood watch patrols, and our informal settlements, where poverty leads to crime, are also growing. When there is a lack of resources, policing crime becomes a problem,” she said.

Facebook has been flooded with tributes and messages of support for the Barron family.

Cape Times