Man cheats death after bandits set car ablaze

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

A 57-year-old man from Bergville in northern KwaZulu-Natal narrowly escaped death after a group of unknown men bundled him into the boot of his car and later set it on fire.

But, the man managed to escape. The incident happened when the victim, whose name has not been released, arrived at his home on a farm at about 10pm on Sunday.

As he reached the door of his house he was assaulted by a group of men who forced him into the boot of his car.

Police spokesman Charmaine Struwig said the men hit the man with a metal object resulting in a cut above his left eye and several broken teeth.

"The suspects then stole his cellphone and put him in the boot of his Toyota Corolla," she said.

"They then drove off with him.

"They also took the victim's Toyota Hilux bakkie."

Struwig said the suspects fled in the direction of Harrismith in the Free State.

"The Toyota Corolla ran out of fuel and the suspects abandoned it. They then fled in the stolen bakkie.

"Before fleeing, they set the Toyota Corolla alight, with the victim still in the boot.

"Fortunately, he managed to escape before the flames engulfed the vehicle."

Struwig said the man then asked for help from a taxi driver, who had stopped next to the car, and was taken to a nearby police station.

Police are still looking for the stolen blue Toyota Hilux bakkie with registration number ND 457 196.

Struwig asked anyone with information to contact their nearest police station or Bergville police on 036-4481-696.