PAC leader Mphahlele survives hijack attempt

2013-01-05 00:00

PAC leader Letlapa Mphahlele this week survived a third hijack attempt, this time on the road between Ngcobo and Elliot in the Eastern Cape.

Mphahlele was travelling alone from Mthatha to his home in Limpopo on Sunday when the incident happened. Speaking to Weekend Witness yesterday, Mphahlele said he gave a lift to two young men outside Ngcobo.

The men told him that they would get off at one of the gates on the notorious Satan mountain pass to look for cattle at Zadunge village.

“I saw the gate they had spoken about, but I could not stop on the left side of the road because of the thick mist. I thought it was better to stop on the right side,” he said.

“To my surprise, only one of them got out and sped to the driver’s seat. I took the precaution of locking all the doors using the central locking system.

“I thought if I were to go with the one inside, I would disrupt whatever mischief they were up to,” said the PAC’s only MP.

With that in mind, Mphahlele drove off, with one man remaining in the car, pleading with him to stop.

Mphahlele stopped about 150 metres away.

“I unlocked the doors and he got out. He drew a gun and pointed it at me. There was no guarantee that he would spare my life if I co-operated, so I thought the best was to drive off again. He fired a shot and hit the left front tyre,” he said.

The former Azanian People’s Liberation Army commander drove for a distance with the punctured tyre on the mountain pass before getting help from other motorists.

“I read a lot about how to react to situations like that. I remained calm throughout. It was one of those moments where you readily accept that one minute you are alive and the next you could be gone.”

Mphahlele is no stranger to hijack attempts, having survived two others with friends in Lesotho and Johannesburg.

Mphahlele said although he was warned by friends not to stop for hitch-hikers again, he has offered a lift to another man since the last hijacking attempt.

“I do not want to be programmed by evil-doers. I do not want them to compass my life and my attitude towards other human beings,” he said.

“Out of 1 000 people you help, one of them may be up to mischief. Do you make the other 999 suffer?” he asked.

“It is one of those things and unfortunately, you have to live with it. Sometimes you try to help, only to invite your own death,” Mphahlele said.

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