Arrest of Tanner Road tsotsi makes ladies happy

2012-12-22 00:00

FAST responses and good sniffing from the Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit yesterday saw a man arrested in record time at the Claremont Conservancy.

Moments before, the man had grabbed the handbag of Ivy Zondi, who was walking home from work along Tanner Road.

“He throttled me and beat me with his fists,” the still-rattled Zondi told Weekend Witness before being taken to the police station to identify her assailant. Her neck was bleeding from a small gash, cut when the man ripped her handbag from her.

Steve Nicklin (50) and his son Reece (17) had heard her screams as she tried to fight the man off and rushed across the road to help.

They saw the man disappear with Zondi’s handbag down the overgrown slope of the conservancy.

Nicklin ran back to his house to call the police as Reece watched for movement in the thick bush.

The police arrived in seven minutes and called the K9 unit to sniff out the suspect.

A group of residents and workers on Tanner Street quickly gathered to watch the mini-drama unfold.

“They got him!” they ululated as faint screams from the bushes indicated the dog’s teeth had found the man. The K9 officers arrested the man some 500 metres from where he had dropped Zondi’s bag.

Mpume Mafuleka, Nora Ngcobo and Beauty Cele said they were very happy that the dog unit had caught the “tsotsi” because they walked down the same road as Zondi and would now feel a little safer when passing the park.

Reece said there had been three or four break-ins on Tanner Street this year. He was very impressed with the speed of the police response. “In the past, we have had to wait up to two hours,” he said.

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