Local radio presenter Gina robbed at knifepoint

2015-12-16 09:40
Current affairs presenter and news editor of uMgungundlovu Community Radio (U107.6FM) Bongani Gina was robbed at knifepoint on Friday.

Current affairs presenter and news editor of uMgungundlovu Community Radio (U107.6FM) Bongani Gina was robbed at knifepoint on Friday. (Amil Umraw, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A prominent Pietermaritzburg radio presenter was lucky to escape unscathed when he was robbed at knifepoint near his home.

After being robbed by four men armed with large “Okapi” knives, current affairs presenter and news editor of uMgungundlovu Community Radio (U107.6FM) Bongani Gina chased down his attackers, with some help from the community and police.

Speaking to The Witnes, Gina said he was walking from his flat at the Dube House on Peter Kerchhoff Street at 9.30 pm on Friday when the incident occurred.

Four “tall” men, pretending to chat among themselves as Gina approached, suddenly grabbed him by the arms and legs and threw him to the ground.

Armed with large knives, the men ransacked through Gina’s clothes, until both his phones fell from his pockets.

The men stole both his cellphones, and according to Gina, “casually walked off”.

“It happened within seconds. I was confused, surprised and shocked at the same time,” Gina said.

After taking a moment to gather himself, Gina said he removed his belt and chased after the men, but when they saw him coming, tried to attack him again.

“They turned and starting running after me with knives in hand. I turned and fled into a local tavern to seek help.”

Gina said one tavern customer immediately recognised him and after explaining the ordeal, both men went on the hunt for the thieves.

The chase started up again, and as Gina and his newfound sidekick ran after the thieves, members of a local funeral parlour also joined in the fray, getting into their bakkie and speeding off in pursuit of one suspect who had broken away from the pack.

Gina said police got involved shortly after, stopping the bakkie because the driver was speeding on the oncoming lane on Pietermaritz Street while chasing down the suspect. After they explained the situation to the police, the officers joined the flurry.

“The police thought the bakkie drivers were drunk,” Gina laughed.

The valiant funeral parlour staff eventually managed to apprehend one of the men, and shortly after, the police hauled in a second suspect.

Both Gina’s cellphones were recovered.

“I want to thank the three officers, the man from the tavern and the funeral parlour workers who assisted me,” Gina said.

“I am lucky to be alive. I had to get my phone back. Any journalist knows the importance of protecting information and contacts on your cell phone,” he laughed.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed two men were arrested and the knives used to intimidate Gina were found.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  knife  |  robbery

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