Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It ain't hell but you can see it from here

It has to be one of the more terrifying crimes in South Africa. Hijackings. It's also one of the few times when YOU are the focus of the crime and guaranteed to be faced with several savages pointing guns at your face.

It was in fact the way a close friend of mine was murdered. Shot in the head. His mother was in the passenger seat. Age 29. An up and coming lawyer and one of the reasons that motivated me to leave the country.

I myself came close on three occasions. One incident involved bullets being fired at my car with my pregnant wife and two baby sons. My decision to leave was clinched that night. The country lost another entrepreneur, my engineering skills and definitely the 300 jobs that went when I closed the business. That's just me, one story. Mine was a failed hijacking so it didn't count. The police weren't interested in opening a case. It went unrecorded.

But there were 14,915 successful hijackings committed last year, and a similar amount before that, and before that, and before that. That's 41 hijackings EVERY single day. That's 41 stories much scarier than mine.

I was lucky, many are not. What use is having money, a relatively good life when it can be snuffed out in seconds? I recall my 9 year old telling me to lock the car doors when we would get into the car because he was scared of being hijacked. I remember feeling floored when he said those words. Are those the thoughts that should concern a 9-year old? What kind of future was he going to have? This woman survived. I guess she's back in the game of Russian roulette that is life in South Africa. Or she can decide to sit it out. We all have choices.

Related ILSA post; Methods of hijacking cars

South Africa police say a woman is lucky to be alive after she was pushed off a 60m bridge by car hijackers.

Her near-death experience in the coastal city of Durban has left her with several fractured ribs, pelvis and lower spine injuries, police said.

The 26-year-old woman was rescued by a passer-by who spotted her on the sand bank below the bridge.

South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world with fears of an increase before the festive season.

In the last year there has been a 5% increase in car hijackings. The latest statistics show 14,915 incidents between April 2008 and March 2009.

Durban is one of the cities to host the 2010 football World Cup, but officials insist that security will not be a problem.

ATM withdrawals

Kavisha Seevnarain is recovering at a Durban hospital after three men threw her off a bridge before making off with her car, police told the BBC. She told her parents that she was followed by a car on Friday evening between 2100 and 2200 local time.

When she stopped at an intersection, a man jumped out of the car, smashed her driver's door window and pulled her out. She was forced into their car at gunpoint and the robbers took her to various ATMs to make withdrawals from her bank cards, police said.

Ms Seevnarain was thrown off the bridge at 0200 on Saturday morning and rescued several hours later. Police said a case of car hijacking and attempted murder is being investigated. - BBC

2 Opinion(s):

The Rooster said...

lucky armed robbery only makes up a tiny proportion of south Afrian murders ..less than 500 each year for hijackings , houserobberies , armed business robberies etc. You're kind of being a drama queen.

Angulus Calx said...

I am scratching my head....armed robbery only makes up a tiny proportion of South African murders?

What are you trying to say?

Less than 500 each year? This is a lie…..proof it…

A drama queen....!