On Monday morning, graphic design student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Tiffany Struwig (21) was stabbed twice on a train when she refused to give her phone to a robber. Struwig was making her way by train to the university when the assailant attacked her.
Tiffany was stabbed once through the wrist and once in the chest, where the blade just missed her heart thanks to the thick layers of clothes she was wearing.
On Tuesday June 11 2019, Tiffany was operated on and received stitches in her chest as well as a procedure to reconnect the nerves in her wrist.
“Today was horrible. Tiffy was assaulted and roughed up on the train by Tygerberg Station. She was stabbed in the arm and the knife came right out of the other side and then she was stabbed on the left side of her chest. She had to be taken to the hospital right away. She is very emotional and cries now and then. They just missed her heart, ” said Tiffany’s mom in a post she shared on Facebook.
Tiffany’s mom also told Adjudicate on Facebook that it was not the first time her daughter had had problems while taking the train.
“A woman had previously tried to throw Tiffany off the train after she said she “didn’t belong on the train”. She was also almost robbed when someone tried to snatch her backpack from her back,” she said.
The family was extremely disturbed by the reported behavior of other passengers in the train carriage when the incident took place; no one attempted to help Tiffany and many onlookers ran away.
It was thanks to a man who lent Tiffany his phone to call her mother that she was able to get to the hospital as soon as she did.
The family fears their daughter may have to stop studying all together, as the train is the only transport she has and she has been left severely traumatised by the attack.
Doctors initially thought Tiffany might lose feeling in her arm, but on Tuesday morning she began being able to perform movements such as making a fist with her hand and is recovering better than expected.
This is just another example of how unsafe Cape Town’s public transport, particularly the trains, can be, and many are wondering when this frustrating situation will change.
You can find out more about how to donate to Tiffany so that she can get a car and no longer use the train here.
Pictures: Facebook/Melody Struwig: Country Gospel Sangeres