Darryn August from Athlone, who was hailed a hero after he apparently tried to save a pregnant woman from knife-wielding robbers. File picture: Supplied
Crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy said that Darryn August, 28, from Athlone, who was hailed a hero after he apparently tried to save a pregnant woman from knife-wielding robbers two years ago, had allegedly lied about the events surrounding the incident that left him paralysed.

His story went viral in May 2016, when friends started a campaign to raise funds for his medical bills after he fractured his spine when he was “flung from a train and hit a tree, between Firgrove and Somerset West station”.

Investigative journalism programme Carte Blanche uncovered the alleged lies during a follow-up story aired on Sunday. They claimed there were no witnesses to the robbery and no evidence showing the pregnant woman existed.

BackaBuddy chief operating officer Catherine du Plooy said following this news they contacted the NGO Institute for Social Concerns.

“We have a strict vetting process and insist that we manage funds, but often individuals insist to do so themselves, which can concern donors.

"In Darryn’s case, the NGO manages his funds and we spoke to them this morning, and they assured us the funds were only used to cover his medical needs,” said Du Plooy.

She said donors had given mixed responses to the developments, but many said they were happy that the funds had gone towards his medical bills.

Du Plooy said they had August's assurance he would issue a statement, to be submitted to donors.

Following initial reports of his ordeal, friends and family of August used BackaBuddy to raise funds towards his medical fees, eclipsing their target and generating more than half-a-million rand.

August stated he would train with the paraplegic association at Stellenbosch University to hopefully participate in the Paralympics one day.

Cape Times