Radio man recovering after hijack

2016-12-05 10:57
Faradh Patel said he is happy to be alive following a harrowing hijacking that took place in Johannesburg last month.

Faradh Patel said he is happy to be alive following a harrowing hijacking that took place in Johannesburg last month. (Kailene Pillay)

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A local radio personality, Faradh Patel, said God spared his life after he was shot twice during a botched hijacking in Johannesburg recently.

Patel was gunned down on the M2 South in Gauteng when he pulled over after his car began stalling.

Speaking from his Pietermaritzburg home, Patel said he is in a pain recovering, nursing internal injuries and two bullet wounds.

Known for his radio shows on Lotus FM and acting stint on South African soapie Egoli, Patel this week returned to his home in Pietermaritzburg. He is currently the station manager at online radio station Radio Mubarak.

Earlier last month he was on his way to a meetingin Gauteng when the incident happened.

“I stopped at the petrol station after mosque. I think the hijackers followed me from the petrol station because there is CCTV footage showing a man tampering with my left back tyre,” he said.

Patel said he was approaching the off-ramp in his Polo Cross when all the lights on his dashboard switched off.

“I pulled over and immediately called Road Assist and then my friend to tell him I would be late for the meeting. Within seconds two men were on either side of the car with firearms,” he said.

Patel said he immediately unlocked the doors and the armed men jumped into his car. The other man pulled him out of his vehicle and rifled through the contents in the car.

“I was standing next to the man and told him to take everything but he just looked at me and shot me. The one bullet went through my rib cage and ricocheted internally and punctured my lung, kidney and liver,” he said.

The second bullet penetrated his left wrist. Both bullets exited his body.

Patel said although he was shot twice, with adrenaline pumping through his body, “it felt like a pin prick”.

The men did not steal his car, but made off with his laptop, iPad, cellphone, wallet and cash.

“They ran onto the highway toward a car that was parked further up the road waiting for them. My white shirt was black with blood and I ran after them,” he said.

Patel said he flagged down passing drivers to help him after he felt weak.

He said as he ran he screamed for help but also prayed and declared his Muslim faith as he thought “the end was near”.

Patel spent a week in hospital before returning to Pietermaritzburg to celebrate the birth of his nephew.

He said the recovery has been “nightmarish” and the pain “intense”.

“Although this has happened, it has not broken my faith in humanity. The men who stopped to help me, the medical professionals and my friends and family have been just amazing,” he said.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    hijacking

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