Horrifically maimed man begs for plastic surgery

Phakamani Sibiya

Phakamani Sibiya

Published Feb 29, 2024



Durban — An oThongathi man is desperately trying to raise funds for much-needed plastic surgery after a person known to him threw a chemical substance on him during an argument on April 13, 2022.

Phakamani Sibiya, 40, says an acid-like liquid was thrown at him while he was at home.

He now awaits justice while the matter is before the Verulam Magistrate’s Court.

Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said police had arrested a 30-year-old suspect for theft and attempted murder after a 40-year-old man was “allegedly burnt with what looked like acid”.

The suspect, Princess Mthimkhulu, appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on February 5 this year and the matter was set for trial on July 8, 9 and 10, 2024.

Sibiya told the Daily News that the day turned horrific when he returned from work. Sibiya said, “I trusted her. I did not think she would cause any harm or put my life in jeopardy.”

Sibiya said that when he lodged a case at the SAPS Tongaat, Mthimkhulu also opened a case against him, which police dismissed.

“On February 14, 2024, I decided to expose myself and let the people of South Africa know about my life and experience. Knowing the power of social media more than 5000 people shared my post. The reason why I posted my story is to get justice. I spent eight months in hospital nursing someone’s actions.

“My skin is my concern. My skin tissue muscles are not allowing me to do anything.

“No one will hire me in this state”, said Sibiya.

“I can’t close my eyes, my neck cannot move properly and I only have one ear. My left ear is damaged.”

Dr December Mpanza, occupational therapist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, says Sibiya would need plastic surgery for injury caused by the “acid”.

Mpanza said the surgery was not cheap and that he was raising funds for Sibiya.

“We need to fix his eyes, his neck and make an ear for him.

“The nose and mouth need surgery. We need to move some of his skin so that his hair can grow,” Mpanza said.

He said that about R700 000 would be needed to improve Sibiya’s quality of life.

“A heartfelt appeal is being made to the public to assist,” said Mpanza.

Sibiya said that when he went to take a shower Mthimkhulu had insisted he “colon hydro clean” himself and that she had slipped acid in his enema.

“I felt a burning pain inside my stomach. I immediately called her for help but she took my phone and went outside pretending to get help.

“Thirty minutes later she came back with a driver who she said was a private car taxi driver.

“Without hesitation, I went inside the car. I asked for water and she rushed out to get water.

“When she came back she had a bottle covered by paper. The moment I drank whatever was inside I felt a burning sensation on my tongue,” Sibiya said.

Sibiya said that they took him to Mthimkhulu’s home where she poured an acid-like substance on him, while the “taxi” driver tried to strangle him with a rope.

“I managed to fight my way out of the house and crawled to a neighbour for help,” Sibiya said.

Mpanza works with Sanctuary Durdoc Hospital. He said the fundraising is done by Thuleleni Crime and Substance Abuse Forum, which was formed by ex-offenders who have first-hand experience in crime.

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Daily News