Dramatic details of Durban jogger's kidnapping revealed

2015-07-06 15:24
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Durban - Dramatic details of a kidnapping, hostage situation and shoot-out - after an armed gang grabbed an early morning jogger - have been revealed by a man who witnessed the entire ordeal.

The eyewitness, who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity, told of how he watched a group of three men hold a woman who was on a morning jog through Glenwood at gunpoint and bundle her into a car.

That act set in motion a series of dramatic events which culminated in the kidnap victim’s safe return.

“At about 04:00 I was dropping off a friend on Manning Road. Then, as I was sitting in my car, this silver VW Polo pulled over in front of me. I thought it was people coming back from a party, then a guy got out of the passenger side of the car and pulled out a pistol,” he said.

“A lady had just jogged past the Polo and was close to my car. He [the robber] called the woman, pointing the gun at her. He shouted at her to come towards him and to take them to her house.”

With his windows tinted but slightly ajar for fresh air, the witness heard the exchange between gunman and hostage.

“They must have thought that no one was in my car. She cooperated and she looked terrified. She got into the car and they drove off with her,” he said.

‘I thought they could kill her’

The man said he had been frozen in shock, but had quickly gathered himself and followed the group of men and the woman. He called the police in the meantime.

“I decided to follow the car and I knew it was serious. I thought they could rape her or kill her. I followed them at a distance and they stopped on Cato Road. I stopped quite a distance away and I spoke to a security guard from a block of flats and he told me that three men had gone inside. I asked him to press his panic button and I had already called the police. Blue security arrived in less than five minutes,” he said.

As security guards and police officers descended on the scene, the men ransacking the woman’s house realised they had been surrounded.

“When the police arrived they cordoned off the whole place. They [the gunmen] figured out that they had been had. One guy came outside holding her at gunpoint and he kept shouting at the police that he would shoot her,” the eyewitness said.

“He reached the car and threw the woman inside and started the car and drove off. As he drove away the police shot at the car's tyres - it was crazy.”

He said as another chase ensued, the woman’s husband had wandered into the street.

“He was walking in the street crying, asking where his wife was. Twenty minutes later the police reported on the radio that they found the car and that she was safe and then they brought her back,” the witness said.

Car chase

Blue Security reaction officer Rajesh Ashokumar, 45, who responded to the scene with two other reaction officers and members of the Umbilo Saps, said the robbers fled when security officers arrived at the property.

“One of the suspects came outside with the victim, holding her close to him with a firearm placed to her head. He then shouted to clear his way or he was going to shoot his hostage if we didn’t move,” he said.

“We complied with his instruction and he then got into the car with his hostage and sped off. As he was leaving someone shouted out a command to shoot the tyres.

“I fired shots into the front left tyre and the other officers fired at the back tyres but the suspect still managed to drive away,” he said.

Police spokesperson Major Thalami Zwane said police are hot on the heels of the men, but no arrests have been made yet.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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