Former Comrades Marathon champion and running coach Nick Bester is in an intensive care unit recovering from a robbery ordeal that left him with multiple injuries.
According to Bester’s son Shaun-Nick, he was out walking in preparation for a charity event when he was attacked from behind by three men armed with knives.
Comrades champion Nick Bester brutally attacked
The men are alleged to have stolen Bester’s licensed firearm which he was carrying to protect himself having previously been a victim of such an attack.
Gruesome images of a bloodied Bester have circulated widely on social media and his son detailed how the 1991 Comrades winner slid down the mountain slopes with his hands tied behind his back, fearing the attackers might return.
Shaun-Nick told SABC News, that contrary to earlier reports Bester had not been riding a bicycle at the time. He said that his father was severely beaten by his attackers who hit him with rocks and threatened to stab him.
“Someone just hit him with a rock from behind, and they started to hit him on the head with rocks,” Bester said.
“He was walking with his gun because he was previously attacked, ten years ago, when they stole his bicycle from him.
“They took his gun; they hit him on the eye. They actually broke the bone on top of his eye, they broke his cheekbone, they broke three of his ribs, he has lacerations all over. The skin on the back of his achilles tendons [is] off because they tied him up with his hands behind his back and they took off his pants and they left him on top of the mountain.”
Bester managed to slide down the mountain and was taken to hospital where he is in ICU awaiting surgery.
Opening a case with the police proves difficult
In discussion with TV news, Bester’s son said they found opening a criminal case with the South African Police Service extremely challenging.
Shaun-Nick claims that the family were told that police would not open a case until Bester was out of the hospital.
He says the family drove back and forth between police stations attempting to open a case and have police attempt to apprehend the three suspects.
Police have not arrested any suspects or recovered the firearm stolen from Bester on a mountain trail in the Magaliesberg. Bester is among South Africa’s leading ultra-marathon coaches as well as being a former Comrades Champion.