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26 September 2011 at 11:32 - Posted by Anonymous

Woman hijacked as neighbours look on


A Soweto woman has described the horror of being hijacked by armed men who shot at her terrified young children.

The shot and the shouting of the hijackers demanding her car made her six-year-old hysterical, while her two-year-old looked on, confused at what was happening.

To make matters worse, her neighbours stood at their doors, watching, but no one called the police or tried to help, not even as her husband wrestled with one of the hijackers.

“To the neighbours, it was like watching a movie,” Palesa Kgoadi said.

Kgoadi, 32, a businesswoman from Dube, said the terrifying ordeal began just after she pulled into her yard on Saturday just after 7pm, after spending the day at the Soweto Expo, where she had an exhibition. Just after parking at her home, two armed men accosted her and one of them started shouting at her to give him the car keys.

Twice the man shouted to the terrified and confused Kgoadi, whose only response at the time was “huh?”. The man then shouted again and fired a shot in the air. Then all hell broke loose. Kgoadi’s six-year-old started crying, prompting the confused mother to cry, too.

She asked the man to let her take her children out of the car first and the man shouted that she could. She did so and the gunman got into the car. At that point her husband Masilo drove up behind her and had just parked his car next to hers, when the second gunman went to him.

He pointed the gun at Masilo and told him to get back into his car. But Masilo fought back.

“These were young guys, between 18 and 21 years old. My husband fought him… I think he got scared because he ran off onto the streets. He even fired in the air shot as he ran,” she said.

Kgoadi said her husband then went to the other gunman, who was about to drive off in her car. Before he could get away, she said, her husband grabbed him by the neck, partly throttling him.

“The gunman kept telling him that he would shoot him and my husband said ‘no, you won’t’. During the struggle, the hijacker was rendered powerless and could not use his gun.

“It is at that point that I think that neighbours could have helped as my husband had overpowered him. But they did not and, after a while, the hijacker managed to get away,” she said.

The first hijacker drove off in Palesa’s car, a silver Honda Jazz with the registration, WTW763GP. The second man fled on foot.

Kgoadi said she heard neighbours saying they saw the latter getting into what seemed to have been a getaway car.

“It was my sister who came and called the police, not even one neighbour did that. I wondered whether they were scared of the gunmen, but there was a point where my husband had overpowered the man who was trying to get away in my car.

“They could have helped then. They only came afterwards and one of them even related the story from how it started until the end. Others said sorry, a car is just a material thing,” she said.

Orlando police have confirmed that a carjacking case has been opened.

Kgoadi said she was grateful that no one was harmed, but extremely disappointed at her neighbours’ failure to assist. - The Star

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