Jogger tells of rape attempt

2019-08-05 10:57

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“As he was dragging me toward the bushes, all I could think was that he was going to kill me, that this was it for me, I was going to die and there was no way out.”

These are the words of a Pietermaritzburg jogger who was attacked by a man wielding a knife at the Protea Grounds near Raisethorpe last weekend. She managed to escape after biting her assailant.

The traumatised woman asked to remain anonymous as she is afraid for her life. She’s even afraid to leave her home since the attack.

“It was a miracle I escaped. It feels like a nightmare,” she told Weekend Witness.

The victim usually goes jogging with her sister at the same grounds every second Saturday around 6 am. She’s been doing this for 15 years. On that eventful day last week her sister could not make it and she went alone.

“I parked my car and waited until I saw another woman come to jog. I had seen her jogging at the grounds many times before so I was at ease.

“I was a good few metres behind her. I completed my first lap and during my second lap, I passed the cricket nets and this man with a cut across his nose wearing a blue hoodie just came out of nowhere.”

She thought nothing of it until she noticed the man staring at her.

“He started walking towards me. I saw he had a knife in his hand. Putting his finger to his lips he said, ‘Shhh. Do not scream. I want your phone’.”

The woman told him she’d left her phone in her car and this seemed to enrage the man.

“There was so much anger. It was like he wanted my phone but could not get it so he would hurt me instead.

“He came around and hit me in the back so hard I fell. I have bruises on my back and knees and have terrible aches in my neck and jaw from the struggle.”

The man grabbed her car keys and threw them onto the field and then got on the ground and pressed his left hand so hard against her neck she thought her neck would break. “He was holding the knife in his right hand and covered my mouth.”

He dragged her further into a deserted area.

“I was begging him not to kill me. I told him I had three children. I even told him I was pregnant and I had started bleeding even though I am not [pregnant].”

She said she hoped this would make him sympathetic, but it didn’t.

“Nothing I said mattered. He was dragging me towards bushes and said he wanted to take me behind a nearby building where there is vacant land covered in bush. He took my head scarf off and tied it very tightly around my neck and that is when I bit him,” she said. She bit his hand.

“I was on all fours and I managed to get to my car keys, get up and start running.”

As she ran she screamed at the other female jogger to also run.

“I looked behind me and he was chasing me. He chased me all the way to Khan Road until I was standing in the middle of the road, crying and screaming. Only one person stopped,” she said.

The woman says she did not get the name or phone number of the good Samaritan but was very grateful to him. “He took me back to the grounds so I could get my car and followed me to my house to make sure I got home safely.”

The woman said she believes her attacker would have killed or raped her if he had managed to drag her further. “We would have been in the bush where no one would have heard or seen me.

“Lots of women go to these grounds and they need to be vigilant, no matter what,” she said.

She also called for people to look out for others and be alert about their surroundings and those around them.

The woman is receiving counselling following the incident. She said women must realise that what happened to her can happen to anyone.

“If something like this happens, talk about it. Do not be ashamed because it is not your fault. The more we talk, the more awareness there will be.”

She said close friends and relatives had advised her it would be a “waste of time” to open a case with police. But Mountain Rise police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joshua Maistry urged people to open ca­ses and report all crimes when they happen so that police can identify hotspots. “The community are our eyes and ears,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime
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