File photo

Durban - A 24-year-old woman, running between Warner Beach and Doonside, was grabbed from behind and hurled 6m over the Little Amanzimtoti Bridge.

Her attacker then ran down to her, sprayed something like pepper spray in her eyes and dragged her into a stormwater pipe where he tried to rape her.

The woman is still recovering in Kingsway Hospital. Paramedic Chris Botha said she suffered “possible severe spinal injuries”.

The incident happened in heavy traffic at 7.50am on Wednesday, and was witnessed by a 64-year-old retiree from Winklespruit.

Gert van der Merwe, who moved to the South Coast from Pretoria three years ago, on Friday told the Daily News how he saw the incident unfold.

“One minute she was jogging and the next she was gone.”

Because of the traffic, Van der Merwe had to find a place to stop, turn and park.

“I tried to flag others down, but nobody would stop, even private security vehicles. The only person who helped me was a young man walking to work.”

Van der Merwe shouted over the bridge: “Hey, what’s going on there?” The woman, hearing him, started to scream.

The young man ran down to the pipe.

The attacker then ran away and the young man was able to pull the terrified woman out of the pipe.

“She couldn’t see anything because he had sprayed something in her eyes,” Van der Merwe said.

The woman was carried to Van der Merwe’s car and he took her to Warner Beach Preparatory School where an ambulance was called.

Botha, of Netcare911, responded, arriving to find an “extremely shaken” woman.

The Daily News has learnt the woman is still in hospital, but her condition is not known.

Police spokesperson, Major Thulani Zwane, said police had not been able to take her statement, she had not been able to speak.

eManzimtoti police were investigating. Van der Merwe said he had seen the attacker walking around the area after the incident.

“I know exactly what he looks like,” he said.

Daily News

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