doctor robbed at gunpoint

MUGGED: Medical practitioner Tshehla Hlahla.  © Sowetan.
MUGGED: Medical practitioner Tshehla Hlahla. © Sowetan.

Frank Maponya

A Limpopo couples dream outing to Mauritius went up in smoke yesterday when thugs robbed them of their flight tickets, passports and the car in they were travelling in.

Well-known medico Tshehla Hlahla became a victim of crime when the thugs pounced on him on Sunday night.

Hlahla, who is the uncle of Airports Companies South Africa chief executive Monhla Hlahla, has been operating a surgery in the township for 34 years.

He was in the company of his girlfriend and his driver when the incident happened in Mahwelereng township near Mokopane.

Hlahla, 62, his girlfriend and driver had just entered his home shortly after midnight when three robbers pointed guns at them.

They were ordered to lie down but Hlahla resisted. One of the thugs assaulted him with the butt of a gun and he sustained injuries to the back of his left ear and left shoulder.

The attackers robbed them of their flight tickets, passports, cellphones and the car - a 2006 VW Jetta 5.

Hlahla and his girlfriend were scheduled to jet off to Mauritius at 9am yesterday.

He is also a well-known activist of the Black Consciousness Movement.

"I have worked in Mahwelereng since 1974 and nothing of this sort has ever happened to me," he said yesterday.

He said though he was living in fear of his life as a result of the attack, he was not considering moving.

"Mahwelereng has been my home for many years and such a small thing cannot change my mind to an extent that I eill consider leaving this place," he said. "All I have to do is to beef up my security."

He said he had walk to the local police station to report the robbery shortly after the attack.

"But it was only at about 10am yesterday that I received a call from a tracking company, telling me that my car had been found in GaMaake outside Tzaneen.

"Unconfirmed reports also suggested that the driver's licence of my driver was found in Zebediela. The two places are far apart and I still do not know what actually happened," said Hlahla.

Police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba confirmed yesterday that they were investigating an armed robbery case and that no one had been arrested.

He appealed to anyone with information to assist them.