Rugby

Mitchell slates complex safety

2010-10-11 13:08
John Mitchell (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Lions coach John Mitchell raised questions on Monday about the security company at his Hyde Park complex where he was stabbed during a house robbery.

"The security at the complex was insufficient on Saturday night, as we have lived there safely for over three months. The security company has a lot to answer for with what happened to us," Mitchell said in a media statement released by the GLRU.

Two robbers broke into the Johannesburg apartment he shared with GLRU condition coach Wayne Taylor in the early hours of Sunday and stabbed Mitchell in the thigh and upper arm.

The former New Zealand rugby coach was taken to hospital in Sandton where he received stitches before being released.

"I'm not feeling great, obviously, but my injuries are not too bad and I just thank God that they missed the artery in my leg when they stabbed me.

"This was a very unfortunate incident, and I wouldn't wish it on any other person to be held hostage and woken in that manner by having an intruder in your room, feeling both you and your friends' lives are in danger."

He said the worst part was not knowing if his friend, Taylor, was alive.

"Tails managed to climb out the window and call the police for help. This was the best thing he could have done, and I commend his decision to escape the apartment as he did not know if they were armed."

He said he had already gone for trauma counselling which was "very beneficial".

"I now have a process to work through on myself. I cannot dwell on this and I need to move forward."

Mitchell said he was still committed to his job.

"I am still very committed to the Lions. This is a beautiful country and I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to work here. I won't let this deter my commitment or passion for the team, but I need to make sure that I am totally secure in where I live, as it is not at all nice waking up and having to defend your life.

"The players have been incredibly supportive, but I'm trying to not dwell too much on what has happened. I need to find closure now and move on with my life.

"Thank you to everyone from my colleagues to the media to supporters of the Lions for their support. It has been tremendous and I do appreciate every message," said Mitchell.

The GLRU said it now "regarded the matter as closed" and said it would not grant any more media interviews on the matter.

Gauteng police said the two robbers, who stole some electronic appliances, were still on the run.

The security company involved was not identified.

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