Dad's daring escape from nasty hijackers
THE thought of getting back to his wife and three young children aged between 15 months and 11 years motivated a Johannesburg man to fight off two armed robbers in a dark open veld around midnight.
Shots were fired at him and he ran towards the nearest lights.
Ashraf Rodriques was hijacked at an intersection near Northgate on Friday evening by two armed men.
He was forced to drive his Mazda 3 with one of his attackers sitting next to him and another pressing the barrel of his gun in the back of his neck.
"I was taken to an ATM where a balance inquiry was done and they made me withdraw R3000," said Rodriques, with a quiver in his voice.
"I know it was risky but I managed to send a cryptic BBM to my wife Jackie that read: HLP HJAK.'' One of the guys (sitting in front) saw the cellphone and took it away," he said.
Meanwhile, his wife reported the matter to the police.
A private investigator alerted the Emergency Management Services in Durban and asked them to send out the alert to their Johannesburg branches.
The message went viral immediately, to hospitals, mortuaries, and was posted on Facebook and Twitter.
After being assaulted and withdrawing the money, Rodriques was made to lie flat on the back seat with a jacket covering his head. The men drove around with him for hours.
Just before he was to be killed execution style in the middle of a veld near Diepsloot, he mastered the courage to punch one of his assailants in the face and groin and run for dear life.
A few shots were fired at him but he managed to escape.- firstname.lastname@example.org