June 7 2011
“I’ve been shot, I’m bleeding” Cape Town singer and songwriter Chad Saaiman screamed to his brother over the phone minutes after he was shot in an attempted hijacking near Sandton on Sunday evening.
While the Sama-nominated artist fought for his life at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, news of Saaiman’s attack spread rapidly across the city on Monday morning.
Saaiman, 27, who recently relocated to Johannesburg, was on his way home from a church service he attended with friend and fellow musician Loyiso Bala.
Sandton police were unable to give detailed information about the attempted hijacking as Saaiman was still unconscious and on a ventilator in the intensive care unit.
According to his brother and co-founder of their record label, Stereotype Records, Lee Saaiman, Chad was shot below his ribs and drove away from his attackers.
During emergency surgery on Sunday night, the bullet was removed from his stomach, but damaged his liver and intestines.
Saaiman was in a critical condition on Monday afternoon, but when his family visited him he regained consciousness. His mother, Sandy Saaiman, said: “I’m coping and I thank God for all the prayers. We are hopeful for another miracle. When I saw Chad, I held his hand and he rubbed mine.”
According to Lee Saaiman, his brother stopped at a house in Glenhazel, one of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, to ask for assistance after the telephone call.
He passed out just before paramedics arrived. They resuscitated him and took him to hospital.
“He didn’t know who to call, so I started calling friends in Johannesburg to go with him to hospital. I tried to remain calm and assess the damage and find out where he was. I told him to just keep breathing and put pressure on the wound,” Lee said.
Saaiman, who became known during the first season of Idols, is one of the most established artists in Cape Town. In 2009, his debut album, Chasing Melodies, was nominated for a South African Music Award.
Captain Kym Cloete, police spokesperson for the Sandringham area, said they were investigating a case of attempted murder and had made no arrests.
It is not known how many people approached Saaiman in Glenhazel.
Cloete said: “Police were called out by a resident in Glenhazel after a man approached them in his VW Polo saying he’d been shot.
“He was taken to hospital and we will get further statements from him once he is able to talk.”Lee Saaiman said his brother was due to go into surgery again last night and added that his condition appeared to be a lot more positive.