I thought they would kill me after shooting my friend – student
The traumatised surviving victim of the savage abduction, rape and murder attack on two Port Elizabeth students yesterday recalled the full horror of the ordeal which has left her fearing for her life.
The NMMU students were hijacked and kidnapped from outside the Varsity Park student residence in North End shortly after 9.30pm on Saturday with the 28-year-old male student later being shot dead while his 21-year-old female companion was raped by two gunmen.
She was eventually freed. And for the young student, the devastating attack has been compounded by the fact she was a victim of a rape attack in Central last year.
The latest drama unfolded shortly after the pair of students parked outside Varsity Park waiting to pick up two friends on their way for a fun night out at an intervarsity event at NMMU.
As the two friends exited Varsity Park, they witnessed a car occupied by about six men pull up. The suspects then hijacked the vehicle, and forced the two victims into the boot of their own car before speeding off.
The body of the single father from Mthatha was recovered from the sea at Brighton Beach just after midday on Sunday. He had been shot executionstyle in the back of the head.
Employed by Emergency Medical Services in Mthatha, he was studying in Port Elizabeth. He has not been named as his family have still not been formally notified.
The young third-year student yesterday described to The Herald how she felt she was in the middle of a nightmare after the pair were forced into the boot of the car and driven around for what she said felt like an hour-and-a-half.
“Everything happened so fast. I felt like I was daydreaming – you know, when you are like having a nightmare. “I was, like, is this even happening? I even asked him [her companion]: ‘What is happening?’ ” she said.
Appearing still numb from her horrifying ordeal, the young woman said while they were locked in the boot, they were told not to communicate. So all they did was hold hands, with the young woman convinced in her mind they were going to die.
“I started to have mixed feelings, like I was going to die,” she said.
“I was praying, I was so scared because I could hear the car moving so fast. “All I had in mind was that they were taking us to the bush to kill us.”
She said the car stopped at a beach and two of the gunmen took turns raping her.
“They raped me there and when they were finished they put me in the front seat of the car and they started driving. “Thereafter they debated whether they should kill me or leave me,” she said.
She noticed a police patrol vehicle nearby but said she had to act normal. The men, who appeared angry and under the influence of drugs, then demonstrated to her how they were going to kill her friend.
“We drove for about three minutes because the police vehicle was nearby and then we stopped at another location where they took my friend out [of the car] and made him kneel just a few steps away from me. “I could basically see his facial expressions. He didn’t cry, he didn’t say anything or scream , ” she said emotionally.
After they shot him, the gunmen left his body out in the cold, showing no remorse. When they returned to the vehicle, she thought she might be next as they started debating whether to kill her.
One of the gunmen, who was sitting in the back seat, angrily demanded that she perform a sex act on him.
The rape victim, who fought back her tears, said she felt disgusted, angry and scared.
The men flaunted their weapons and the last bullet they had just before they stripped her of her dignity by demanding she take a shower to get rid of their DNA.
“The water was so cold and they asked me to get naked,” the victim said.
“The one [gunmen] said I was not cleaning myself properly and he did it himself.” She said she had to hide in the shadows not to be seen by the police vehicle that was patrolling while the gunmen acted normally.
After she got dressed, the gang dropped her in Central.
“After I got out of the car, I basically thanked them as if it is a normal thing because I thought they would shoot me as soon as I walked off,” she said.
Police spokesman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said there had been no breakthrough in the case thus far and that the car had not been found. “Police are busy following up”, she said.