Former Miss SA: Robbers tried to bite my ring off my finger

2015-06-07 14:16
Lorna Potgieter-Rossetti celebrating her 52nd birthday last month. (Supplied by her)

Lorna Potgieter-Rossetti celebrating her 52nd birthday last month. (Supplied by her)

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Johannesburg - Robbers tried to bite an engagement ring off the finger of former Miss South Africa Lorna Potgieter-Rossetti during an attack in Johannesburg on Saturday morning.

"It was in Randburg. I was on my way to a friend's birthday lunch when I stopped my car on the side of the road to check the address and to write out the birthday card," the 52-year-old 1984 pageant winner told News24.

"From the corner of my eye I saw the men coming."

She said one of them then pointed a gun at her.

"It all happened so quickly, but I was calm and put up my hands. I apologised and said 'I'm so sorry'."

She said they told her to open the car, which she did.

Hit on the head

"The first thing that happened was one of them grabbed my hand and tried to rip off my ring from my finger," Potgieter-Rossetti said.

"I said, 'I'll give it', but then he bit my finger. I eventually got it off and told them 'I promise to give you everything'."

The men then demanded money.

Potgieter-Rossetti said she had withdrawn money earlier and had put it in an envelope in her handbag.

"I said, 'take the money, but please leave my handbag'. One of them then hit me on the head."

The two took her car keys out of the ignition and left with the ring and the bag.

"I then started hooting and a crowd gathered. A 17-year-old boy said he would help and went around the corner to look for them," she said.

The teenager came back after about ten minutes, saying he had spotted them behind a bush.


Randburg police responded quickly, and one of the alleged robbers was arrested a short while later while getting into a minibus taxi.

"It was a horrible experience, but they only took material possessions. Thank God, it could have been worse," she said.

"It was my original engagement ring, but my life is worth more than that. I would [now] rather wear a cubic zirconia ring than have someone bite my finger.

"People always say how you should react in situation like that - I stayed calm. Even though they had guns I didn't feel they were going to shoot me.

She said the 17-year-old found her bag on the ground, but her money, her purse and her pair of readings glasses, which were in a leather case, were taken.

Police could not immediately confirm the incident on Sunday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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