Kickboxer shot in road rage attack

Kathryn Kimberley

A PORT Elizabeth kickboxing coach is recovering in hospital after he was shot in the neck during a road rage incident at the weekend.

A case of attempted murder has been opened.

Hendrik Jansen van Rensburg, 22, yesterday recalled the harrowing ordeal in which he was struck in the face with a .22 pistol, before his alleged perpetrator shot him in front of his distraught girlfriend.

He was shot just above the collarbone and the bullet skimmed his left lung. It is lodged between his ribs and doctors have opted not to remove it at this stage. He also has a large gash on his bottom lip.

Van Rensburg, who runs a kickboxing gym in Walmer, said he and his girlfriend, Chezz van Oosten, 22, had been on their way to his parents’ house in Beverley Grove at about 5pm on Saturday when the incident occurred.

He said they had spent the day at Van Oosten’s parents’ guesthouse in Redhouse.

Van Rensburg said they were approaching the traffic lights in Luneville Road, Lorraine when a white Opel Corsa, which did not have licence plates, sped past them.

“He overtook me into on-coming traffic so I swerved off the road to allow him to come back into my lane. He was driving very fast and almost hit an oncoming car.

“As he passed, I flashed my lights and waved my hands and swore at him. But the driver stopped directly in front of me, blocking me from moving forward. I could not get away.”

Van Rensburg said two elderly men got out of the Corsa and walked towards him.

“I rolled down my window because I thought they just wanted to talk.”

However, he said he noticed too late that one of the men was carrying a firearm.

“One of the old white men, I think he was the driver, said something to me and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. He suddenly hit me in the face and the gun went off. The pain was immediate and I became dizzy.”

The gunman and his accomplice fled the scene, while motorists who witnessed the incident rushed to Van Rensburg’s aid.

He was rushed to Greenacres Hospital where he is in a stable condition in the high care unit.

He will be discharged later this week.

“I am not sure if he meant to shoot me. It is almost as if the gun accidentally went off when he hit me in the face,” he said.

Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said police were still searching for the suspects and their vehicle.

He said a case of attempted murder was being investigated.

Additional reporting by Rochelle de Kock

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