Shock at Mitchell stabbing

2010-10-11 07:53

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Johannesburg - The Golden Lions are still in shock at the attack on their New Zealand coach John Mitchell on Saturday night when the former All Black mentor was stabbed in a housebreaking incident.

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Mitchell spent the night in hospital on Saturday after being stabbed twice in his house, but has been released from hospital and will be back at work at the Union’s offices on Monday.

The Rugby Union confirmed the incident in a late night press release on Sunday, in an incident which will do South Africa’s crime reputation no favours abroad.

The incident happened at around 22:00 on Saturday night when the home shared by Mitchell and his fellow Kiwi Wayne Taylor - the Lions conditioning coach - was broken into by two home invaders.

“During the break in, John Mitchell was attacked and stabbed twice - once in the thigh and once in the upper arm. The invaders took a few possessions and then ran off before Mitchell was taken to a hospital in Sandton,” the Lions press release stated.

Mitchell stayed in hospital for the night where he received treatment and stitches to the two wounds. He was released on Sunday morning and will return to work on Monday.

"We have rallied around both John and Wayne during this terrible time and have placed them both in new accommodation for the time being while we find them new permanent residency. The complex they were staying in has a reputation for being very safe, and as a result we never had any doubt that they were out of harms way.

"Mitchell will be back at the office on Monday where we will give him our full support and encouragement", Golden Lions Rugby Union president Kevin de Klerk said.

Apparently Mitchell heard a commotion in the house on Saturday night and, believing it to be Taylor playing a prank on him, inadvertently tackled one of the intruders. A second man then allegedly stabbed Mitchell in the arm and thigh. Taylor was not injured in the attack.

"He thought Wayne was playing a joke on him, so he actually jumped on the person, but it was actually one of the intruders," Lions spokesperson Krystle Geach told New Zealand newspapers. Mitchell's cellphone and laptop were stolen by the intruder.

Warrant officer Moses Maphakela from Johannesburg police told NZPA the intruders had gone into the apartment through the kitchen window. "They went to the room of John Mitchell. They demanded money. They tied his hands and feet with a rope."

Taylor, who had been sleeping in the other room, managed to escape through a bathroom window, and called police. Maphakela said the men walked away with two laptop computers, cellphones, an iPod, a digital camera and cash.

"We recovered the two laptops and the digital camera outside the house." Maphakela said police were still looking for suspects. Mitchell has been contracted to coach the Johannesburg-based team the Lions in the Super 15 competition next year after spending four years coaching the Perth-based Western Force.

He was appointed All Blacks coach in 2001 and led two Tri-Nations titles in 2002 and 2003 as well as regaining the Bledisloe Cup off Australia in 2003. He was fired after the All Blacks failed bid to win the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and replaced by Graham Henry.


  • Simon - 2010-10-11 08:08


  • Realist - 2010-10-11 08:11

    This is a disgrace. We told the world that we were a safe country during the World Cup. This is not so. We are not safe in our own homes, and nothing is being done. Hope you are OK, John.

  • Gonzo - 2010-10-11 08:16

    What a bunch or savages!!! I really give up with this lot, just cant be civilised and have respect for human life or anything in fact

  • Johan - 2010-10-11 08:21

    Glad you're OK, John! But even though it's the kind of thing expected to happen in this country, this incident is AGAIN going to make SA's name stink overseas. But I wonder whether one will hear as much as a peep from the politically corrrect SA Rugby about this?!!

  • Tana - 2010-10-11 08:23

    Shame... South Africa. I hope that Mr Cele reads about this. Get wel coach Mitchell. The crime situation in out country is really really shocking. On my way from Work on Friday, I witnessed two guys that robbed a car guard off his money and killed him when he tried to run, this was in Cape Town. These are 15 and 16 year old boyr killing a 35 year old man. God save Africa! This country is something else.

  • Gonzo - 2010-10-11 08:23

    What a bunch or savages!!! I really give up with this lot, just cant be civilised and have respect for human life or anything in fact

  • duna - 2010-10-11 08:28

    When is the government going to do something? I live in the uk, and was thinking of coming home. Seeing this, thanks, but no thanks. I wish the world could step - just like IRAQ - and take the country away from the current imbeciles who run it. Common the USA, we have oil too!!

  • Sparky - 2010-10-11 08:35

    What a sad and embarrassing story!! All the best John.Wish you a speady recovery-WP supporter

  • Alistair - 2010-10-11 08:37

    All the best John. Good to see him back at work, an up yours to the criminals!!

  • Kobus - 2010-10-11 08:40

    Shocking yet again. Such a great country being destroyed by criminals and a pathetic government, which simply cannot curb crime. If you look at the corrupt arms deal, corrupt head of police, Malema tenders, corruption by members of parliament with travel coupons, etc. then we know why crime is not actively or effectively combated. A corrupt government cannot create a safe environment and effective legal system without compromising itself. It is time crime turns onto members of parliament with their security guards etc. We want to see them exposed to the exact same living environment we have to face every day.

  • AA - 2010-10-11 08:41

    Cannot understand why you are shocked by this incident. It happens every day in our country, with much more serious effects.

  • pierre kemp - 2010-10-11 08:44

    KIWI afrigter aangeval in huis roof in SA

  • Andre collins - 2010-10-11 08:45

    No one is immune to the crime tsunami in SA. When will this ever end!!

  • Pieter Erasmus - 2010-10-11 08:49

    Why is everyone so shocked? It is just a normal day in SA.

  • war - whites against racism - 2010-10-11 08:50

    I hope it wasnt WP sending in guys to steal the Lions game plans for next years Super 15

  • Kenneth - 2010-10-11 08:53

    I am not sure whether we must always assume a robbery is committed by black person and that person has intention of driving out whites out of the country. I was a victim of crime but never assumed race immdediately. People just use incidents like these to confirm their stereotypes and hatred for other races.

  • Colin - 2010-10-11 08:53

    Lets try something positive.I live just outside tzaneen on a farm and we have a type of neibourhood watch, we all have 2 way radios and it is very well run. This weekend we had a burglary and because of the watch, all the persons belonings were gotten back and eveyone on the mountain is aware that a gang is about. My suggestion is as follows, let's create a country watch web site and post every crime with details in our own communities, in this way the SAPF would be pressured to react. Come on SA lets all be the "good man who does something" Regards Colin

  • @Gonzo - 2010-10-11 08:54

    I couldn't agree with you more. Wish you all the best John. Thanks for giving SA a chance and I'm really sorry this happened to you.

  • Colin - 2010-10-11 08:55

    Lets try something positive.I live just outside tzaneen on a farm and we have a type of neibourhood watch, we all have 2 way radios and it is very well run. This weekend we had a burglary and because of the watch, all the persons belonings were gotten back and eveyone on the mountain is aware that a gang is about. My suggestion is as follows, let's create a country watch web site and post every crime with details in our own communities, in this way the SAPF would be pressured to react. Come on SA lets all be the "good man who does something" Regards Colin

  • Bully - 2010-10-11 08:57

    Now this is really going to put a spoke in the wheel of all the bleeding heart white liberals who like to pretend there's no crime whatsoever in this country. Haha.

  • Bliksem - 2010-10-11 08:58

    So nou wonder ek wat se Mnr Stofilie nou en al die Politieke pione oor sulke laakbare skandes.....Geluk aan die regering nog 'n merkie in die swart boekie vir geen optrede teenoor geweld!! Sorry Guys but this is the norm in S.A. at the moment, because we do not have a government to control anything. Best of luck

  • mike - 2010-10-11 09:00

    What do you expect when the Government is so corrupt!

  • kirsten - 2010-10-11 09:01

    What can one say, our wonderful crime stats has just scored another home goal. The Lions are really building up well and I sincerely hope John and Wayne pleeeasse do not leave because of this. I feel our police better do some real damage control, get these idiots and making 'good' examples of them.

  • Mark - 2010-10-11 09:01

    @Tana - I hope you have reported what you witnessed to the police. If not you are part of the problem as well. If you did, you are part of the solution.

  • Skipper - 2010-10-11 09:02

    Get well John. I wouldn't count on the cops catching the intruders. Pity.

  • Billy - 2010-10-11 09:07

    Shocked ??? why ?? how many cases happen daily that ar not in the papers for the rest of the world to read what a crime riddled country we live in. This is normal living in SA, and it is never going to stop, so get used to it and live with it.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-10-11 09:10

    'Home invaders'!? Is this a politically correct term they use these days? What's wrong with the term thieves or burglars or any other derogatory term that should be used? Come off it, politically correct language should be used for politically correct situations.....not for petty thieves and other scum of the earth!

  • Welcome to South Africa - 2010-10-11 09:11

    At last, John finally gets the traditional Johannesburg house warming. In all seriousness, these people that go around robbing people aren't good enough to lick my dog's sh*t. If you go out with the intent to committ such crimes, then you forfeit the right to live. These sumbags should be found and disposed of. Just because you are black and poor, that doesn't mean you have the right to rob and stab people. Just disgraceful.

  • Gaz - 2010-10-11 09:13

    Very Very Embarrassing, not going to go down well in NZ. Violent crime has become the 'norm' now in SA. With top ANC officials living the lifestyle of Saudi Royals the masses who are unemployed and uneducated will carry on living a life of crime. A cell phone for a life is now standard practice!!!

  • ockert - 2010-10-11 09:16

    INVADERS ?? , is this trying to be politically correct - dumb Reporter, he was not trying to squat , he was there to kill if need be and to Steal from who he thinks owes him , and has more than him, he wants , he insists he's to lazy to work and get a proper education. He is part of the hit squad that is being unleashed on the country to commit genocide.

  • citizen - 2010-10-11 09:17

    The SA disease - wake up Cele.

  • Johan Potgieter - 2010-10-11 09:19

    Well last year people broke in to my house, armed with carving knifes. I heard the noise of glass breaking and knew I was being burgled again, luckily I was in the habit of locking the doors of all rooms I enter. I waited by my door in order to defend myself with pepper spray. This was in a "safe" neighborhood in a security complex. Luckily my neighbor next door looked over the wall and started shouting at them and they ran off to the property next door where they waited for us to leave the house for a full three hours. I called the police but they only arrived the next day. I was told to catch the criminals myself next time and to beat them up before calling the police. It took 3 hours to give a statement at the police station, I got so frustrated because the officer was almost illiterate that it carried through in my tone of voice and body language. I was accused of racism and was almost locked up in the holding cells - where people are often physically hurt or sexually assaulted. This happens daily in the new South Africa.

  • Realist - 2010-10-11 09:20

    In a Democracy, the will, norms and standards of the majority prevail. Is anyone really surprised that savage, uncivilised behaviour is the order of the day in South Africa ?

  • okay - 2010-10-11 09:20 was black on white crime... it is okay....

  • Paul - 2010-10-11 09:21

    Now the media is calling thieves and criminals "home invaders". Why? If someone eneters a house with criminal intent they are criminals. State it as it is!!!

  • ShaunSwindon - 2010-10-11 09:24

    Sad day for a ONCE great country :( Some of you are right in saying this happens everyday! There is no solution unfortunately with corrupt people in charge of the very Police which is meant to serve and protect.

  • Sham - 2010-10-11 09:25

    give malema a chance...he will somehow find a way to blame Mitchel for getting himself stabbed..glad to hear Mitchel is back at work..good for you bro

  • colour - 2010-10-11 09:26

    ...why dont they mention the colour of the crimininals..??

  • Chris Augoutatos - 2010-10-11 09:26

    Allot of you are right, but also dont forget the girl that was brutally murderd in New Zealand not long ago.

  • Airwolf - 2010-10-11 09:27

    This is hardly "shocking". It is a standard way of life in South Africa. Pity John didn't have a baseball bat on him. He's probably too much of a decent guy to have used it properly.

  • Gustav Brummer. - 2010-10-11 09:30

    Bad , bad news, not only for rugby, but for SA. The crime is just never ending, and we look dodo's not doing ANYTHING about it. Sorry John, and get well soon. God bless!!!!

  • Hein - 2010-10-11 09:33

    Referring in your article to the 2 criminals who almost killed John Mitchell as 2 "home invaders" is absolutely pathetic. They are %^$#%$ criminals - it's time the media stopped down-playing such events by using such tame descriptions of these types of criminals. Speedy recovery, John.

  • FedUp - 2010-10-11 09:38

    I can honestly say that 80% of my close circle of friends have left SA for safer pastures. All degreed individuals with lots of potential - the kind of people any country would love to have. Wake up SA leaders before its too late!!! Its a slippery slope to anarchy - the kind that plagues many African countries.

  • John Jones - 2010-10-11 09:40

    Why is it always a 'shock' when something like this happens to a foreigner ?. It's simply the 'New South African' way of life. If murder rape and mayhem is not for you then neither is South Africa. Face up to it.

  • Blou Bulls - 2010-10-11 09:44

    Sorry to hear. get well soon. This is the main reason the Lions team is not as good as it can be because how many player would like to stay in Jhb and train in the most dangerous part of SA, hillbrow when thay can instead train at the coast or in safer unions.

  • Auds - 2010-10-11 09:45

    I hope absa is going to tell the government to do something about the crime in SA or they going to move else ware with there business and investments.

  • Joscelyne - 2010-10-11 09:47

    I prefer to be anonymous because I am living with scary conditions at my holiday home on the Vaal Dam where we are having break ins into our houses WEEKLY and the Vereeniging police do absolutely nothing about it because they are big mates with the so called "security" man at the complex. Nothing gets done whilst the security guy sells our stuff under our noses, threatens and verbally abuses us continously. The police do nothing about it.

  • Ollie - 2010-10-11 09:48

    SHOCKED !!!! Why Home Invaders??? - They are criminals.

  • @chris - 2010-10-11 09:48

    Chris, the girl that was murdered in New Zealand? Her South African boyfriend is the chief suspect. Also, this murder being one of only seven in the last year is billed as a national disaster in NZ. In South Africa, according to the creatively audited figures of the SAPS was 18 000.

  • Craig - 2010-10-11 10:51

    Kobus, GOOD comment. Let's see how the members of parliament handle it when it happens to them or their sibblings. My son (11) was attacked by an uneducated unruly youth with a knife in our neighbourhood park and robbed of his cell phone while the knife was thrust up against his throat (marks to prove it). Little did he know i was on leave and lived two houses away. I chased him down and caught him some streets away. The neighbours in that street wanted justice their own way and begged me not to call the police. So i gave him what he deserved as when i caught him he tried to stabb me to get away. Police were called in and after a very bumpy ride to the cells and a year later of court appearances, he was sentenced to 18 years and linked to three other armed robberys. You can all say what you want to critisize my actions, but when it happens to you? What would you do?