Car theft: Friend races to rescue

2008-08-13 00:00

If it hadn’t been for the courage of a Northdale businessman, Dada Govender might never have seen his precious car again after two thieves stole it on Tuesday night.

After realising that his Honda Ballade was no longer where he had parked it an hour earlier, Govender concluded it was gone for good. He and his son Mergan had parked their two cars in Mysore Road at about 7 pm while they and five family members were at church.

“I also panicked because I knew how precious the car is to my father,” said Mergan, Govender’s elder son. “I phoned police radio control. While we were waiting for their response, Ricardo Rajah [a local businessman] called to tell my father that he was chasing after his car, which was being driven by two strangers. That gave my father hope.”

After getting the call from Rajah the Govenders jumped into Mergan’s vehicle to join the chase. Mergan said Rajah stuck behind his father’s stolen vehicle, while four police vehicles joined in the chase, which ended at the intersection of Ohrtmann and Dartnell roads.

Mergan said the suspects stopped the vehicle and jumped out at the intersection after realising they had been cornered. One of them was caught immediately and the second ran into the bush, but police released dogs and caught him.

“Ricardo saved my father’s vehicle. While giving the chase he took the trouble to phone my father before phoning the police,” said Mergan.

Rajah (35) said he was driving home after closing his supermarket when he spotted Govender’s vehicle. He said he suspected something was wrong as he was sure Govender was at church.

“Mr Govender runs a small business in my building, so I see his car every day. I called to confirm if it was stolen while I was giving chase. Along the way I saw a police van and signalled for help, but the police did not understand me. The police only followed after I turned roughly at the intersection. Later more police joined the chase,” said Rajah.

Rajah said he would have continued the chase alone if necessary. “I don’t believe people should take things that we work hard for,” he said.

Govender had enormous praise for Rajah. “He put his life at risk … and he was not even sure if they had firearms with them. He also helped the police.”

Govender collected his vehicle from the SAPS pound in Mkhondeni yesterday afternoon.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said the two suspects will appear in court tomorrow.

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