Nightmare for ex-Bok

2009-12-30 00:00

FORMER Springbok centre Japie Mulder, his wife and their three children were driven around in a nightmare hijacking ordeal by four robbers in the East Rand on Sunday, after the 1995 Rugby World Cup hero was locked in the boot of his own BMW.

“I was constantly praying for mercy — what else can one do?”

This was said by a visibly exhausted Mulder yesterday as he told of the terrifying hours he spent curled up in the boot, while his wife, Ronel, and little Ruan (nine months), Jané (4) and Dian (6) were detained in the back seat of the hijackers’ own vehicle.

Mulder and his family left their home in Meyersdal in his BMW 750 to buy supper on Sunday at about 7 pm. On their return, in Jacqueline Drive in Randhart, a white Volkswagen Jetta drove into them from behind.

Mulder pulled over in the pouring rain, after which the driver of the Jetta stopped behind him.

He got out of his car and reached for a pen and paper inside. When he turned back he was “surrounded by four men with fire arms”.

One of the men then forced him into the back seat of his BMW and climbed in next to him, pressed a 9mm pistol against the back of his head, and ordered Mulder’s two older children to lie flat.

A second robber climbed into the driver’s seat and drove off at a high speed, while the other two robbers followed in the Jetta, Mulder said.

About 10 km further, they stopped and Mulder was forced at gunpoint to get into the boot.

Ronel and the three children were, in turn, told to get into the back seat of the Jetta.

The hijackers again took off with both vehicles, only to come to a stop once more. They yanked open the boot and asked Mulder for the pin number to his bank card.

“He was holding the pistol to my neck and said I musn’t lie, as they still had my family and they didn’t want to harm ‘my people.’”

After the boot was locked again with Mulder inside it, the hijackers continued their journey and later stopped at a small shopping centre, presumably to draw money from Mulder’s bank account, Ronel said.

They again drove off and stopped further down the way.

This time the hijackers searched the BMW and “aggressively” asked
Japie where the car keys were.

The BMW 750 model, however,
is operated by keyless access so that the vehicle is turned on by the press of a button when a certain “disk” is within a determined distance from the ignition, Mulder explained.

“For this reason, I didn’t know precisely where it was, and I just kept saying that it had to be somewhere inside the car,” he said.

The robbers, desperate by now, threatened to turn off the vehicle, and said that if they couldn’t restart it, they would shoot him.

“Luckily they were able to start the car again, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done,” said Mulder.

After they had bundled him into the boot for the fifth time, they dropped the family close to a Caltex garage in Kiblerpark at around 10 pm.

Andrew Lourens from A1 towing service found the distressed Mulders here and helped them to get back to their home.

In a surprising twist, Mulder received a phone call about half an hour later from another towing service, saying that Mulder’s BMW had just been involved in a collision with various other vehicles on the N1 south bound.

The wreck was abandoned after the robbers, according to witnesses, fled the scene.

Ironically, Mulder then phoned Lourens and asked him to tow his hijacked BMW.

“I was sure that the hijackers were going to shoot me,” said Mulder, who has established that R1 200 was drawn from his account.

The police are investigating, among others, a case of hijacking.

Mulder played in 34 rugby Tests for the Springboks from 1994 to 2001, and was in the Springbok team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

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