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Post - 2021-07-21

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Gran lucky to be alive

NEWS

NADIA KHAN nadia.khan@inl.co.za

A PHOENIX grandmother believes she is lucky to be alive after she was struck by a bullet while at home last Monday. Chandramati Bhagwati, 66, of Westham, was cooking when a bullet shattered the kitchen window and grazed her forehead before lodging in the wall. The incident happened during unrest in KwaZulu-Natal. “I was at home with my daughterin-law and grandchild. My son, Anesh, was outside at the time. I went into the kitchen to check on the rice on the stove. As I was turning to go back to the lounge, I heard a loud sound. I felt a sudden and terrible pain in my face. “When I touched the area, blood ran down my face. I shouted for my grandchild to call my daughter-in-law. I felt weak as I had lost a lot of blood.” She said her son arrived and he, in turn, called their neighbour, Marc Chetty, who is trained in first aid. Said Chetty: “There was a lot of noise on the road as the looters, who stole from the nearby supermarket, were either making their getaway on foot or in their vehicles. They were also shooting. “Some windows in other homes in the area were also shattered. I believe they were firing to keep the road clear and for residents to stay inside. But when I was told to go to ma’s house, I did not think twice. When I arrived, I saw blood all over the kitchen floor. I had to act fast. I sat her down and applied pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. I also cleaned the wound and removed bits of metal from the bullet before bandaging it.” He said the bullet was lodged in the wall. “We called the ambulance and the police several times but nobody came, so we had to take care of ma as best as we could. This should never have happened to an elderly and innocent person.” Bhagwati said she was only able to seek medical treatment at a private hospital the following morning. “We could not leave the area because of the situation. I was X-rayed and given injections to prevent any infection and for pain. I am feeling a bit better but am still traumatised. I could have died. I thought I was safe in my home but I was not.” She said she was not sure who was shooting. “I could hear a lot of noise outside and people screaming, but I was too scared to even look out of the window.” Bhagwati said a case of attempted murder was opened at the police station. The police did not comment by the time of publication.

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