Petrol attendant saves hijack victim

2007-11-13 00:00

A HILTON petrol attendant foiled a hijacking and possible murder after he helped rescue a hijack victim who had been shoved into his car boot in the early hours of Monday morning.

The shy hero, an employee at the Hilton Shell Garage, who declined to have his name published or to pose for a photograph, said he had less than an hour to work until he finished his shift when he attended to a dark grey Mazda 323 that had pulled in to fill up. The vehicle had two occupants.

The attendant said the driver parked a bit far from the petrol bowser and requested a R200 fill-up. He asked the driver, who appeared to be a young boy, to come closer so that the nozzle would reach the car's petrol tank.

“He reluctantly came closer and opened the petrol cap for me. As I was about to fill the tank, I heard some screaming and a hard knock from the back of the car. The passenger then leapt out the car. The driver looked terrified and he also jumped out of the vehicle and ran into nearby bushes and disappeared,” said the

petrol attendant.

They asked the passenger what was going on, and he said he was going to work and had just been given a lift by the suspect, who asked him where the nearest petrol station was.

“We believed this because he still had his lunch box with him and insisted he was not aware that there was a man locked inside a boot. We opened up the boot and found a man, aged around 36 or 38 years old. The victim's mouth and wrists had been taped up, so we removed the tape from his mouth. He was only dressed in boxer shorts,” he said.

The victim apparently had been held by the suspects, who took R3 000 belonging to him.

Police spokesman Superintendent Henry Budhram said that cases of kidnapping, robbery and theft of a motor vehicle have been opened in connection with the case.

“The victim, Thembinkosi Zulu, of Stanger, was at home at 11 pm on Sunday night when he was abducted by the suspect who demanded a firearm, cash and his car keys.” Budhram said that the victim was made to get into the boot of his car.

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