‘Pupils’ hijack, kill PE woman

Magda van Vuuren (right) was shot and killed during a hijacking in Diaz Road, Adcockvale. Her mother, Sally Potgieter (left), saw the entire incident. Picture: Supplied

Two arrested after teenager in school uniform opens fire

An elderly woman could do nothing but watch as a hijacker, dressed in a school uniform, drove off in her daughter’s car after she was shot in the back and left face down in the middle of the street.

Hours later, two teenagers – the alleged shooter, who is a 16-year-old boy, and a 15-year-old girl – were arrested with the stolen car in Bluewater Bay, while a third teenager fled into nearby bushes.

Magda van Vuuren, 53, died on arrival in hospital after her mother, Sally Potgieter, 83, saw the horrific scene play out right in front of her Adcockvale home, at around 3pm.

“I heard the shots go off – I think two,” Potgieter said, her hands shaking as she pointed to the spot in the street where her daughter was shot.

“I got such a fright. The second one hit Magda and I saw her collapse in the street. He [a teenager] drove off and she was just lying there in the street, flat on her stomach, not moving. She was my only child.”

The shooter and four other youngsters, who were sitting close to where the shooting occurred in Diaz Road, were believed to be wearing Westview School uniforms.

It is a special needs school in Mowbray Street, Newton Park.

The school could not be reached for comment.

Van Vuuren had just left her mother’s house and was getting into her BMW as one of the young men walked up.

He took out a gun and fired one shot before pulling Van Vuuren from her car.

A scuffle ensued and Van Vuuren was shot in the back.

The attacker drove off in the car and the others, who were still sitting nearby, ran off in the opposite direction. Van Vuuren had brought her mother some groceries and was visiting for a while before the shooting took place.

“As she left, I told her not to go. I wanted her to stay a while longer because we were having such a nice time. But she had to go,” Potgieter said.

“I wanted to walk to the car with her, but she told me to stay by the door,” the mother said, her eyes brimming with tears.

Potgieter’s caregiver, who did not want to be named, was standing next to the elderly woman.

She said the group of teenagers, dressed in school uniforms, were sitting in the street for most of the day.

“One of them got up, walked up to Magda’s car and knocked on her window.

“I could see she waved her hand, like she was telling him to leave.

“That’s when he took out a gun and fired a shot into the air,” the caregiver said.

She said it was not clear if Van Vuuren got out of the car by herself or if the attacker pulled her from the car, but she could see Van Vuuren trying to get back into the car when the second shot rang out. Van Vuuren fell into the street.

“I just froze. It happened so quickly and I did not know what to do.

“I saw him point to her while she was lying in the road. I don’t know if maybe he tried to shoot her again, or whether he was saying something to her.

“He looked right at me, in my eyes. I could not believe it. Then he got into the car and drove off.”

The caregiver ran into the street and shouted for help from neighbours as she went to Van Vuuren.

“I was holding her until the police and ambulance arrived. She just looked, not saying a word.

“Then she closed her eyes when they came to take her away,” the caregiver said.

The victim died in Livingstone Hospital shortly after arrival.

Her husband, Pieter, declined to comment.

Last night, an off-duty police officer spotted Van Vuuren’s BMW at a petrol station in Bluewater Bay at about 8pm.

When he confronted the occupants, one ran into nearby bushes to avoid arrest. The other two, including the alleged shooter, both from Wells Estate, were arrested.

It is alleged the suspect used his father’s firearm during the hijacking, but no weapon was recovered.

The suspects will be taken to a place of safety until they appear in court later this week on charges of hijacking and murder.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said Van Vuuren died soon after arriving at the hospital.

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