Local teen’s abduction scare

2018-10-26 15:36
(Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

(Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

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“She told me that when the car door opened and she saw four men telling her to get inside, she thought she was going to die.”

This is what an emotional Clarendon mother told The Witness after four men allegedly tried to kidnap her 14-year-old daughter near Voortrekker High School on Wednesday afternoon.

The mother, who can’t be named to protect the identity of her daughter, said at around 3pm on Wednesday, she received a text message from her daughter asking her to call her.

“When she answered, she could not speak. She was just making these garbled sounds and I knew immediately that something was not right,” said the tearful mother.

“She was walking home, because we live close to her school, when she saw this metallic red Suzuki.

“Last week, my daughter told me that she thought she was being followed by a car, the red Suzuki, and that she felt uncomfortable.

“At the time, I told her not to be silly because there are so many people driving around that area. I thought the car probably belonged to a parent or a resident. Looking back now, I should have taken her seriously, but you do not like to even think that your child could be in danger,” she said.

The mother said the call with her daughter ended abruptly when a woman she did not know started to speak.

“She told me that she had my daughter at her house, that she was alright but that she was very scared and I needed to get her home.

“When I got there, my daughter threw her arms around my neck and just collapsed. It’s like she just crumpled around me.

“She told me she had started to walk up Roberts Road in Clarendon when she spotted the metallic red Suzuki on the opposite side of the road.

“She said the man in the driver’s seat wound down his window and told her to get inside. She thought they were just being silly so she told them to go away and carried on walking.”

However, instead of driving away, the car allegedly swung around quickly, almost riding over the teen and drew up on the side of the road she was on.

“She told me that was when one of the back doors opened and she saw there were four men inside the car. One man was telling her to get into the car.

“She said when she saw the back door open, she felt like she was going to die, that somehow, she was already gone,” said the panicked mother.

“She then started screaming. She told me she felt like she was attacking the air. She threw everything she was holding down on the ground, and just ran.”

The mother said the car disappeared up Cordwalles Road once her daughter had attracted attention from a Roberts Road resident who looked after her until her mother arrived.

“She was so shaken. Last night [Wednesday] there were some fireworks and my daughter just dropped to the floor and started screaming; ‘They are shooting at me’, over and over again. It has been horrible.

“I have been trying to let her know she is safe now but she will be going for counselling.

“I cried all of last night [Wednesday]. I am just so grateful. I could have lost my child and it hit me so hard.

“She was in my arms last night but she almost wasn’t.”

The mother said she would be opening a case and that Magma Security had been “very supportive”. Shaheen Suleiman of Magma Security said they are investigating the incident.

“Listen to your children when they talk and make sure they know they can trust you,” the teen’s mother said yesterday. “If your child tells you about something that makes them feel uncomfortable, take them seriously.”

She added that “stranger danger” was something that needs to be retaught in schools and communities and that parents should tell their children not to talk to people they do not know, even if it means being rude.

“It does not feel safe anywhere, not even that area outside my house.”

Local police said they are aware of the incident, and a staff member from Voortrekker High School said a community meeting concerning the matter would be announced soon.

The school did not respond officially.

Incidents rising in the city

Earlier this month, a city teenager was abducted, gang-raped and stabbed while on her way home from a wedding.

She was just a few metres from her home in Ashdown when the incident occurred.

As reported in The Witness, the 16-year-old girl told her family a white Corolla with three men inside approached her. She had initially thought the men wanted directions so she went closer to the car, but the men grabbed her.

She told her family she remembered being raped by three men, and was stabbed on her inner thigh and had strangulation marks around her neck. The men then dumped her in Ashdown early the next morning.

In late September this year, an 11-year-old Northdale boy narrowly escaped being kidnapped from outside his school at the corner of Ghandi and Ramlingum roads.

A black BMW with just the driver in it approached him. The man said ‘Boy, your mother said I must come pick you up. Come’.”

The boy luckily did not believe the man and ran back to the school.

Earlier this month, local businessman Asif Muhammad was arrested for allegedly conspiring to kidnap the children of local wealthy business people for ransom.

He is out on R5000 bail and will reappear in court on November 19.

Tips to help protect your kids

Security consultant and self-defence trainer David Allen said all successful attacks had three elements: surprise, speed and violent action.

“Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you. Be alert and try and eliminate that element of surprise.”

He said if a person or child was walking home and felt they were being followed, they should cross the street and see if the pursuers did the same. He said if they do, the person being pursued should zig zag across the road while trying to alert someone for help and to confuse the men.

He also said, that if someone stopped their car near you while walking, you should keep a good few metres between yourself and the car. Then if the person tries to pull you into the car you can run.

“While you run, remember to scream to attract as much attention as possible while getting as far away as you can.”

He said children should be well aware of stranger danger and that parents should ensure their children know their cellphone or work numbers as well as their addresses off by heart.

“Teach your children not to take things from strangers ...” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  attempted kidnapping

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