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Robber hit by SA's 'favourite' Tazz driver still under medical care

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
The suspect runs across the centre island where Sandy-Lee Ward hits him with her car. He flies into the air and lands a few metres away.
The suspect runs across the centre island where Sandy-Lee Ward hits him with her car. He flies into the air and lands a few metres away.  
Image: screenshot

The man who was hit by a Toyota Tazz after he robbed the owner at the Bluff in Durban south is still under medical care.

He was expected to appear in court on Friday. 

“The matter was remanded in absentia to October 20. The man is still under medical care,” said National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara. 

CCTV footage of the incident shows two men approaching Sandy-Lee Ward's vehicle at a boom gate next to a petrol station. They open the driver's door and snatch her bag.

Their attempt to steal the car is foiled when another motorist tries to run them over, resulting in the two men fleeing. One jumps into a waiting car while the other cuts across the petrol station forecourt and heads for the road.

Ward, however, reacts immediately and drives after the fleeing suspect.

He runs across a centre island and the car hits him. He flies into the air and lands a few metres away.

The Tazz, which leaves the ground for a second as it hits the island, lands safely on the road.

The incident occurred in view of police who were at the petrol station. 

Ward said after the incident, she just “put her foot down” and didn't think about the consequences when she decided to pursue the man with her bag, as it contained all her important documents. 

Dragon Protection Services CEO Trisha Parshotam said the incident should not spur hijacking and robbery victims to chase after their attackers.   

“The motorist must be applauded for getting a bad guy off the street but her act should not empower others to retaliate or follow hijackers or robbers. This is a rare case that has ended well. If you find yourself in a carjacking situation, it's important to prioritise your personal safety above all else. Don't resist forcefully. While it's natural to feel frightened and want to protect your property, it's generally recommended not to resist forcefully during a carjacking. Resisting may escalate the situation and put you at greater risk of harm. 

“Don't chase or follow. Once the carjacker or robber has taken your vehicle or possessions, do not attempt to chase or follow them. Your priority should be to ensure your safety and contact the authorities as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Parshotam. 

She said as more South Africans become crime statistics, situational awareness is of utmost importance.

Situational awareness is being aware of surroundings, recognising potential threats and making informed decisions to mitigate risks.   

“When it comes to crime, situational awareness can help individuals identify warning signs, potential danger zones, and suspicious behaviours, ultimately allowing them to respond effectively and potentially prevent criminal activities,” said Parshotam.

If situational awareness is practised, South Africans would be aware of potential risks and ways to protect themselves. 

She said being aware was not the same as being paranoid all the time. 

TimesLIVE


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