Top Cape matriculant robbed in car after landing in Joburg to receive honour

2016-01-06 14:30
Rebecca Haines. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Rebecca Haines. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Johannesburg - Two days before she was due to receive a top accolade from the Department of Basic Education, one of the country's best-performing matrics was robbed in her car when she and her father arrived in Johannesburg ahead of the event.

Rebecca Haines, a pupil from Rustenburg High School for Girls in Cape Town, was invited to the department's event in Midrand where Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was due to announce the national pass rate, along with the names of SA's top achievers. Haines was among the 21 top achievers.

But shortly after they arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday, they were robbed at gunpoint while on their way to their hotel.

"We were on our way to the hotel from OR Tambo International in a shuttle service that picked us up at the airport," Rebecca's father Trevor Haines told News24.

There were two families in the shuttle at the time, he said.

Haines said he believed they were followed by the robbers who were seemingly looking for a specific bag.

"The hijackers were looking for a brown bag they thought we were carrying in the shuttle."

The driver of the shuttle got slightly lost and drove past the hotel where they were supposed to stay. According to Haines it was only a few metres from the gate of the hotel.

"The driver of the shuttle pulled in the entrance of another hotel to turn around and ask for directions. One of the men came to the driver with a gun and told him to get out and that he was looking for a brown bag."

‘They just wanted the bag’

Another man approached Haines, who was sitting in the back. He said the second man also asked for a brown bag.

"They were quite calm, not really threatening because they had the gun in their hand."

The driver got out of the shuttle and the men took his keys to open the boot of the shuttle.

The other family had a brown bag, which the men took with them. The men also took the bag belonging to Haines, which contained all of his daughter's belongings.

Haines said the men were not interested in taking any of their credit cards or phones.

"We actually offered them the other stuff and they said that they just wanted the brown bag."

Haines said the men may have confused their shuttle for another.

He said he believed the father of the other family was a school teacher from the Eastern Cape.

Haines said his daughter was forced to arrange for a school uniform to be couriered to her for the event.

"My daughter was very traumatised and sat with her head between her knees in the shuttle while the event unfolded," said Haines.

"It was a strange experience and we simply decided not to focus on the negative afterwards. We were here [in Midrand] to celebrate her achievements and not a crime statistic. We did not want to give power to the hijackers," Haines said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  crime  |  matric 2015

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