March 3, 2016

#ATTACK: LISTEN (2xSoundClips): Victims relive trauma of attempted hijackings

ROSEBANK – Two co-workers are comforting each other after they were both attacked by blacks on separate days while driving home

Jean O' Connor comforts her colleague after an attempted hijacking.
Jean O' Connor comforts her colleague after an attempted hijacking
Two co-workers were left traumatised after being involved in separate attempted hijackings on consecutive days.
Jean O’Connor was travelling home on 24 February at 6.15pm and, at the corner of Republic Road and Jan Smuts Avenue, she opened her window slightly while waiting in the middle lane for the traffic light to turn green.
“That is when I noticed two men, with one of them pretending to be blind. Next thing the two men were up against my window,” said O’Connor.
She added that one of the men shouted at her to hand over her cellphone. “They warned me not to fight otherwise they would shoot me.”
According to O’Connor, one of the men stood facing the traffic while the other stood at the driver’s side and put his hand into the car looking for the car keys. Fortunately, this model of car has a start-stop button.
“I remember the one that was on my side distinctly. I remember what they were wearing. I remember that the guy watching the traffic tried to unzip his jacket to take out something when they threatened to shoot – thank God the zip was stuck.”
Listen to O’Connor give her version of events below:

The traffic light then turned green and she managed to get away before they could get her cellphone. She stopped to catch her breath and two men who were in a car next to her pulled up to apologise for not being able to help as they saw that the men were armed with a knife and a gun.
The next morning, O’Connor went to work with the intention of warning her co-worker not to drive with her window open but could not because she had a meeting.
That evening about 6.30pm, her co-worker who wished to remain anonymous, was also involved in an attempted hijacking that was similar to O’Connor’s but at a different location.
She was on the corner of Bompas Road and Jan Smuts Avenue, also in the middle lane, when she felt cold metal on the back of her neck. She explained that her window was down due to a thunderstorm that had just occurred and she needed to demist her windscreen.
“My hair was in a ponytail and I just felt this cold metal,” she said.
“I can still feel it even now. The one guy put his hand into the car and yanked my phone out of the aux cable and knocked my chin when he was taking it out.”
She added that the other man kept trying to open the car door. “He screamed at me a few times saying ‘you are cute but I’ll shoot you’. He then cocked the gun and I thought I’m never going to see my daughter again. Thank God for the driver that was in front of me. He moved to the side put on his hazards and let me get through. I just drove, I don’t know how I got home but I did.”

O’Connor reported her incident at Linden Police Station.
Spokesperson for the station, Captain Alex Vermaak informed the Rosebank Killarney Gazette that the incident on Republic Road was the first one that he was aware of this year.
O’Connor’s colleague was still traumatised and had not yet reported her incident. Rosebank police spokesperson Bongi Mdletshe could not comment as the incident had not yet been reported.