‘Miraculous survival’

2009-11-16 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg parents of hijack survivor Kavisha Seev­narain (26), who is recuperating after being flung off a 60-metre-high bridge on the N2 at uMkomaas at the weekend, have hailed her survival as a miracle.

“God is the saviour. I thank Him for saving her life and giving me back my child,” her father, Jeewan Seevnarain, deputy principal of Raisethorpe Secondary School said yesterday.

Kavisha is in St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban.

Her father said, “I called the hospital this morning [yesterday] and was assured Kavisha is in a very stable condition but is still in the intensive care unit ,” Seevnarain told The Witness as he and family members prepared to travel to Durban to visit his daughter.

He said Kavisha sustained seven fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis as well as injuries to her lower spine and is being kept under observation in ICU.

“She is in full control of her faculties,” he added, saying she was not harmed physically by the hijackers before being thrown off the bridge.

Seevnarain and his wife, Anika, rushed to Durban shortly after 10 pm on Friday to launch a frantic search for their missing daughter, after her friend called to tell them Kavisha failed to arrive to visit her as they had arranged.

Early on Saturday morning they received a telephone call from a passer-by, who had heard Kavisha’s calls for help from where she was lying under the bridge and obtained her father’s cellphone number from her.

At that stage her parents were anxiously waiting at the Chatsworth police station for news of her whereabouts.

They reached her side in time to see her being airlifted to St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban by Netcare 911.

Her father said she was treated at the scene by emergency services (ambulance and fire brigade) from uMkomaas, who were the first to arrive, followed by Netcare parame­dics.

Since her admission to hospital, she was able to tell her parents that she was followed by her attackers in a green Opel Astra while she was travelling to the Shallcross home of a friend between 9 pm and 10 pm.

When she stopped at an intersection, a man jumped out of the other car, smashed the driver’s door window of her Mercedes Benz and pulled her from her car. She was put into the Opel.

“She was held at gunpoint. Two of the men had firearms.

“During her ordeal, quite a few stops were made to withdraw money from ATMs from her bank card in various parts of Chesterville and Umlazi.

“My daughter says they [the hijackers] stopped off to consume alcohol … The four [original] assailants became six in all,” said her father.

Eventually, the hijackers drove Kavisha along the N2 to the bridge over the Mkomazi river and threw her over the side at about 2 am. She landed in a shallow part of the river and, in spite of her severe injuries, she managed to crawl onto a sandbank under the bridge where she lay for the rest of the night.

Her calls for help went unheeded by passing motorists until a man walking in the vicinity heard her cries and went to her aid.

“It is a miracle and we thank God and all the people who have supported us and prayed for us,” said her parents.

Kavisha grew up in Pietermaritzburg and matriculated from Raisethorpe Secondary School in 2000.

She is a qualified teacher and teaches commerce at Mowat Girls’ High School in Durban. She recently completed an honours degree in education.

Kavisha’s brother, Kalesh, is a doctor in Durban.

Police spokesman Inspector Derek Chetty said yesterday that Kavisha’s stolen car was recovered on Saturday in uMlazi, but said no arrests have been made in connection with her hijacking and attempted murder.

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