Crime stats: The human face

2012-09-21 00:00

WITNESSES to a brutal rape and armed robbery in Richards Bay during the festive season are singing the praises of the police for capturing the suspects. In November, a Gauteng resident on holiday in Zululand was raped in front of her teenage sons and their friends just hours after arriving in Richards Bay for their vacation.

After raping the mother from Vanderbijlpark and ransacking the self-catering unit where the family was booked in, the four armed suspects went to another self-catering unit on the same property and held an elderly couple at gunpoint while they searched the house, also threatening them with rape and murder.

The victims have nothing but positive feedback for the reaction by the police.

Three of the suspects were arrested in January and have been linked to various other crimes. They will appear in court in January 2013.

TEACHER Kavisha Seevnarain was hijacked at gunpoint and thrown off a 67-metre bridge over the Mkhomazi River in 2009.

Having survived a terrifying ordeal, she said the incident had impacted on her, by making her cautious when driving now.

“At night I avoid driving and only do so when it’s really necessary or in emergencies. But I have to get over it as the perpetrators were convicted and sentenced. I am starting to live my life again. I don’t know how I survived the plunge from 67 metres,” said Seevnarain. The two men were charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and attempted murder.

DR Imtiaz Sooliman, the founder of the Gift of the Givers aid organisation, said even though he was a victim of crime, he feels safe in his area as a result of police visibility.

“We need to stand together and work as one in assisting the police. They cannot fight crime alone, but we in the community can support police with information and reporting the crimes.”

He added that some officers are dedicated to solving cases.

Sooliman and his wife, Ayesha, were the target of hijackers as they arrived home at the gate of their Mountain Rise home in June. He was held at gunpoint. No arrests have been made in this matter.

AHMED Lakhi, who was a victim of a violent robbery in his Albert falls home in February, said the family is starting to cope after they had attended sessions with a psychologist.

The family was attacked by a group of men and tortured when the robbers poured boiling water over them. Even a two-year-old child in the family group was not spared.

“I am very happy that the suspects have been arrested and at the way police have handled the case. During the investigation they were supporting us. They always tell us about the investigation. We as the public don’t feel safe in our homes as a result of the criminals that are targeting us,” said Lakhi. The incident left the family very traumatised. The robbers locked their victims in a sealed delivery van before leaving.

The robbers were arrested and the matter is currently in court.

CONSTABLE Hlengiwe Mkhize, of Etsheni area in Vulindlela, is accused of shooting and killing Mlindeli Ngcobo (15) with her service firearm in July. It is alleged the boy knocked into Mkhize’s car and was shot while driving off, apparently to report the incident to the police.

“I am happy with the way the investigation was handled by the police after this incident, but we are still waiting for the judgment in the court matter as yesterday [Thursday] it was adjourned until next month,” said Abed Ngcobo, Mlindeli’s father.

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