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Narrow Escape

“I would have been raped and killed and left in the bushes in the middle of nowhere if it wasn’t for the man in the white bakkie.”

So said the woman who was robbed by two men who gave her a lift when she hitchhiked from lifestyle retailer CTM in Sandbaai last Saturday (“Rylopers se lewe gered”, Hermanus Times, 13 Februarie 2020).

The woman and her partner were hitchhiking from Hermanus to Cape Town when a car with two men and a woman stopped to offer them a lift.

Their joy at getting a lift soon turned into panic when the driver and the man seated next to him started smoking an unknown substance.

“They closed the windows and the smoke filled the car. The driver went very fast, about 140km/h. I was scared, but still didn’t suspect anything bad would happen,” the woman said.

Suspicious behaviour

She became suspicious when the driver turned off the R43 and headed in the direction of Fisherhaven. “I asked him where he was going, and he said to the petrol station. I started panicking because I knew there was no petrol station where he was headed.” The woman’s nightmare intensified when the driver stopped on a quiet road in a bushy area at Middelvlei, between Hawston and Fisherhaven, and demanded money.

While her partner gave the men money she ran into nearby bushes fearing for her life.

In her haste to get away she tripped and fell, hurting her arm. She discovered a day later that her arm had been broken.

Although she feared her attacker would rape and kill her, the woman managed to keep her wits about her and hid her purse, ID and cellphone when he demanded she hand her bag over.

To the rescue

She said her blood ran cold when she heard the driver of the car shout “Skiet hom! Skiet hom!” (shoot him! shoot him!).

“That’s when the bakkie arrived,” the woman said. “They (the attackers) then drove off. I want to thank the man in the white bakkie because if it wasn’t for him we would be dead.”

Later, she managed to locate her cellphone, ID and purse in the bushes after police arrived at the scene.

“It is my first and last time hitchhiking,” the traumatised woman said. “I will never do it again. If I don’t have money for transport I will rather stay at home. I just want to warn people to be very, very cautious, especially when it comes to accepting lifts from strangers. You don’t know who you can trust.”

Capt Fadila September, Hermanus police spokesperson, said no arrests had yet been made in the case, and that “the investigation continues.”Anyone with information can contact Hermanus Detectives during office hours on 028 313 700 or Hermanus Police on 028 313 5300.

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