Gang strikes twice at hijack hot-spot

2008-05-16 00:00

"Looking down the barrels of four pistols was probably the worst feeling," says Pietermaritzburg man Brett Kyle, who narrowly escaped death after a hijacking on the R603 near kwaMakhuta recently. Days later, his car was used to hijack a Scottburgh woman on the same stretch of road.

Police have now been deployed to patrol the N2-R603 Umbumbulu junction near where there have been three hijackings in five days.

Last Friday, a man was shot and killed after he was driven off the road by the hijackers.

On Saturday, Kyle (24) and Bonnie Ortlepp (23) were on their way from their home in Pietermaritzburg to Durban airport at around 5 pm when a maroon Toyota started flashing its lights at them. Kyle did not stop, but the Toyota increased speed, drove out into the oncoming lane and then pushed their black VW Polo off the road and into a barrier. Four armed men then demanded the couple’s car and belongings.

"I tried to make a getaway by reversing the car away … but stalled … If I hadn’t stalled, they would have killed us … I told Bonnie to jump out and run, they were dragging me out of the car and when I managed to break free I grabbed Bonnie and we ran. I didn’t look back …" he said.

Kyle threw Ortlepp over the barrier and then dived over.

"An old induna witnessed the whole thing … and he called the police," said Kyle, adding that police came quickly.

Then on Wednesday, also at around 5 pm, Tanya Greef (40) was driving on the same road to her Scottburgh home in her white Toyota Corolla when a group of four men driving a black VW Polo drove into the oncoming lane and shoved her off the road.

Three armed men surrounded her vehicle and demanded that she "open up and get out".

"I didn’t fight them. My advice to anyone is to just get out of the car and take flight," she said.

It appears the VW Polo that rammed Greef off the road was the same vehicle that was hijacked from Kyle and Ortlepp.

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