August 16 2006 at 07:19AM
A Kempton Park salesman suffered serious burn wounds in a roadside acid attack between Johannesburg and Nelspruit, News24 reported on Wednesday.
Henk Griesel, 33, stopped near the Patatnek mountain pass in Schoemanskloof on Tuesday to investigate a noise in his car.
A "Samaritan" stopped behind him and offered to help, but instead poured a brown-coloured acid over Griesel.
He sustained ten percent burns to his head and arms. There was also a burn on his cheek, a centimetre from his left eye.
He was on his way to Nelspruit when he hit a pothole between Belfast and Machadodorp.
He stopped on the shoulder of the road to check his tyres. An old Toyota bakkie stopped behind him and a middle-aged man got out and asked if he needed help.
Griesel said: "I saw he carried a white plastic can, but didn't feel threatened at all."
Griesel thanked the man for his offer, turned his back and bent over the left front tyre to check it.
"I heard a noise behind me and when I turned around, the guy poured the liquid over my head.
"It was the most painful experience of my life. A terrible pain knifed through my entire body. I knew I had to get to a hospital quickly." He leapt into his car and raced towards Nelspruit.
He kept on wiping the pungent smelling acid from his head and arms with a cloth, but the acid ate away the fabric.
"The bakkie followed me for a while, but I was so overcome with pain that I didn't see him after a while."
Griesel stopped at a farm stall where an elderly couple came to his aid.
"The 'tannie' poured bicarbonate of soda over my head to counter the acid."
He felt better after a while and drove himself to Nelspruit Medi-Clinic, where he was being treated for second-degree burns.
"I'm totally in the dark about why I was attacked. Motorists should be cautious before stopping along the province's roads."
Hospital spokesman Robyn Baard said tests were being done to establish the kind of acid used in the attack.
Police are investigating. - Sapa