ZimOnline editor shot in crime ridden Johannesburg
By Tichaona Sibanda
26 July 2007
Abel Mutsakani, editor of the South African based Zimbabwe internet news site ZimOnline, was seriously wounded on Monday night in Johannesburg, when an unidentified gunman shot him in the chest with a single bullet at close range.
The bullet from a pistol went through his raised elbow and ricocheted into his chest, rupturing his left lung and remains lodged near his heart. Doctors have since decided against surgically removing the bullet.
Mutsakani was released from hospital on Thursday and has been ordered to get bed rest from home. Spokesman for ZimOnline Daniel Molokela said Mutsakani was attacked Monday night after he had confronted three unidentified individuals who approached him as he had parked his vehicle at his home in Western Johannesburg.
‘The incident happened just after he got home from work and the area where he lives is a bit isolated. Abel described the attack as out of the blue because the assailant shot him in panic and fled as he confronted the trio,’ Molokela said.
Molokela said Abel was lucid although he was still in pain, but showed his determination to get his life back on track quickly by walking to a waiting car from his hospital bed.
There has been some debate that the attack on Mutsakani could have been an assassination attempt – due to Mugabe’s brutal crackdown on the media and anyone perceived to be an opposition supporter - but Molokela said Abel didn’t think so. ‘Abel was able to relate the ordeal and he thinks it was more of a criminal intention, more of wanting to hijack him because it was late at night. In Johannesburg if you drive at night you attract the attention of the wrong people,’ said Molokela.
A seasoned journalist, Mutsakani had worked for the Zimbabwe Daily News and The Financial Gazette before his move to Johannesburg.