Woman tells of terror as protesters attack her bakkie

2014-05-28 00:00

A NORTHDALE woman yesterday recalled her terror after she drove into the thick of Monday’s protest in Northdale, and the protesters — armed with axes and bricks — set upon her car.

Arthi Singh, who transports pupils to school in her bakkie, said the protesters in Regina Road threw bricks at her car, which was carrying school children.

She had been unaware there was a violent protest taking place.

“By the grace of God I managed to get my pupils to safety, even though I was so scared, not knowing what was happening,” said Singh.

“I was driving up the steep hill when I noticed residents there standing at the side of the road looking towards the other side of the suburb.

“I thought they were looking at a big accident as it looked busy there. I passed by them and then came across trees and burning tyres blocking the road.”

Singh said a group of men suddenly rushed towards her car, some armed with axes and bricks.

“I had to think quickly as it was my responsibility to save my pupils. I had a matter of seconds to take action. One of the men pointed a finger at me and the others jumped onto the car. I didn’t stop; instead I drove through the crowd while they were stoning and scratching my car. Some were screaming at me,” said Singh, sobbing as she spoke.

She said she managed to turn her car into Reservoir Road and turned back and stopped in a safe spot next to Regina School.

“I stopped to check on the pupils and the car and realised that they had scratched and dented my car. But my pupils were safe. No one knew what was happening in that area.

“I can’t sleep at night; when I close my eyes I see their faces screaming at me and see them banging on my bakkie.”

Singh said she saw traffic officers at nearby traffic lights and told them of the incident so they could warn drivers not to use the road as it was dangerous.

She said her family too had experienced similar problems to the protesters. “We woke up one day to find that our electrical appliances were blown up and we did not protest violently about that even though we still need answers from the municipality.”

Yesterday protesters were still in and around the area blockading the road. Police were monitoring the situation.

Mayor Chris Ndlela said he had received a letter of grievances from the community of ward 28 and the council speaker was facilitating a meeting with delegates from the area.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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