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Man near death after bee attack

March 12, 2002

By Bonny Verwey

A man from Tongaat on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal is fighting for his life and has been put on a life support system after he was attacked by thousands of bees last week.

His colleague escaped the bees after he dived into a nearby swimming pool.

Telkom employee Vishnu Govender was called out to perform an ISDN installation at a La Lucia, Durban property when he was attacked.

Telkom spokesperson, Ed Tillett, said Govender and a colleague, Jeff Horner, had to climb over the fence into a neighbouring property to reach the distribution point.

"The distribution point was among thick bush, and there were a few bees buzzing around, but neither of the men took too much notice of them. All of a sudden a swarm of bees attacked Govender and Horner," Tillett said.

Horner was able to escape by jumping back over the fence into the neighbour's swimming pool, but his colleague was not so fortunate.

"According to Horner, when he looked back, his partner was engulfed by thousands of bees. Apparently there were so many that the only parts of Govender's body that could be seen were the whites of his eyes," said Tillett.

At one stage, Govender froze, unable to move, during the attack as his body had gone into a state of shock.

When the customer, whose installation the men had done, heard Horner jump into the pool, she went outside and gave him a towel. She then called Netcare 911, who arrived at the scene in minutes, but they were unable to disperse the bees.

Eventually the fire department were called and they sprayed water from a high pressure hose pipe to get the bees off Govender.

Both technicians were rushed to Umhlanga Hospital where Horner was discharged the same day.

A relative of Govender said that he was in a critical condition and still on life support.

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