An unlucky thief had his world turned literally upside down on Friday night when he became impaled on palisade fencing.
It is alleged that the man was trying to steal goods from informal traders in Cathedral Street, central Durban, when he his plan went awry.
ER24 paramedic Katya Evans said emergency services personnel arrived at the scene on Saturday morning to find the unfortunate man hanging upside down with one foot still impaled on the large metal rods, and an unlit cigarette hanging from his pursed lips.
"He had been trying to climb over the fence and both his feet had been impaled. During the course of the evening he had managed to free one foot. According to bystanders, he had been hanging on the fence for nearly 12 hours."
She added that firefighters had helped paramedics to get the stricken man down. "Sometime during the night someone had obviously felt sorry for him and given him a cigarette. It appears that no one was kind enough to offer him a light."
She said that the man was treated once removed from the sharp fencing and taken to Addington hospital.
The police are eager to speak to him when he leaves hospital.