Hijack victim (85) tells of slow recovery

2008-01-22 00:00

Beatrice Harrison, the 85-year-old Howick woman who was pulled out of her vehicle during a hijacking in November last year, is still haunted by the memories of that day.

Harrison was returning from having lunch with her sister when the hijackers struck. Her arm was seriously injured; at the time it was feared that she might never be able to use it properly again.

Harrison is currently undergoing regular psychiatric counselling.

"I had to learn how to write again, I was put into frail care and had to have a night nurse for three weeks," she said.

Her car has not been recovered and she has not had any updates from the police since the incident. Harrison has been in constant contact with the Town Hill Police Station under which her matter is being investigated, but this has not yielded any results.

The bubbly grandmother has been without a car since the hijacking, but her son is looking at buying a second car.

"I no longer feel safe driving anywhere on my own and my family has advised me against it," she said.

"I have been knitting as a form of therapy for my arm and it has recovered well," she said, crediting her surgeon for a job well done.

While her credit card was cancelled within two hours of the hijacking on Sunday, November 18, it was still being used on November 24, presumably by the hijackers themselves. This was done at several stores in Pietermaritzburg including Supersave, 7/11, Cellarmaster Liquors, Chicken King, Dapper Clothing, G.C. Coatings, Maxi’s, McDonalds and at an OK grocer in Hayfields. In total R3 822,38 was spent on the card.

Not a single store matched the name of the credit card holder against that of the user or asked for any identification, which may mean that the card had already been cloned.

Harrison said her family have been instrumental in her mending process, taking her away on holiday for Christmas and New Year, which helped her to get over some of the trauma, she said.

"My grandchildren provided me with great comfort after my ordeal."

Her wish is to see the perpetrators responsible for her suffering caught and charged as soon as possible.

"I am hoping against hope that these criminals will face justice," she said.

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