Plucky mom, 72, pulls gunman off son

2015-07-13 10:14
Criminal charges will be laid against an eThekwini ANC branch chairperson for allegedly taking money for RDP houses which never materialised, the DA says. (File, Sapa)

Criminal charges will be laid against an eThekwini ANC branch chairperson for allegedly taking money for RDP houses which never materialised, the DA says. (File, Sapa)

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Pietermaritzburg - “My 72-year-old mother saved my life as she fought off gunmen that were attacking me.”

That was what a grateful Pietermaritzburg man said on Sunday after he and his heroic mother managed to ward off alleged attackers, disarming them and sending them packing on Friday.

Nivesh Soni, a vegetable retailer, was leaving his mother’s home, in Kingston Road, Northdale, at around 06:15 when the incident occurred.

“We have two bakkies, so I took one of the bakkies outside the yard and parked it on the road, with my wife sitting inside so it wouldn’t get stolen.

“As I put the key in the door of the second bakkie, I sensed a man beside me. When I turned my head a man attacked me, hitting me with the butt of the gun on my head. He had a gun, so I feared being shot and tried to wrestle it out of his hand,” he said.

Soni said that while trying to the disarm the man, he faced the gun toward the lower part of his body, to survive a gunshot, while making as much noise as he could to attract attention. Two other men appeared and Soni managed to wrestle all three to the ground.

“Either these men were not strong or I was overcome with adrenaline to be able to wrestle them all to the ground,” he said.

Soni is fairly fit and trains four days a week. He said one of the men was taller than him, one shorter and one about the same height as him. After witnessing the commotion, Soni’s mother raced to help her son, pulling one of the assailants off him, after which she was punched by the attacker and injured her head when she fell down.

“My mum is my hero. If it wasn’t for her I thought I would have been shot.

“My wife was uninjured in the other bakkie, but she could not hear the commotion. After one of the men was off me I managed to wrestle the gun out of his hand and all three men ran away,” he said.

Soni’s mother Shireen Mohammed said that she saw what was happening and thought the only thing she could do was scream.

“After realising there was no help in sight, the only thing I could do was help him. I went behind one of the men and pulled him off my child. Then the man punched me and I hit my head on the ground. When the men ran away and I saw my son standing, I was relieved because even though I know he was hurt, I knew he was still alive,” she said.

Soni had to have 18 stitches to close the gash on his forehead. His mother said that despite bruises on her head, she was slowly recovering.

The family thanked doctors and nurses at the Midlands Hospital trauma unit, for helping and taking care of them when they were injured.

A case had been opened at the Mountain Rise police station, but police were unable to give details about the incident.

Soni and his mother declined to have a photograph taken.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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