I FEEL I need to warn the public, especially women and the elderly, by writing about the terrible thing that happened to me on Thursday February 19.
I left the No 7 Castle Hill Museum on my way home and was travelling on the freeway towards Cotswold at 12.40pm when, on passing the Kempston Road interchange, my car started jerking.
A warning light came on so I slowed down until I found a safe spot to pull off the road, which was just past the Kempston Road onramp towards Cotswold. When I tried to start the car again it would not start so I called the AA and they said they would dispatch a vehicle immediately as I explained I was not in a very good area and I was alone in the car.
A few minutes later I noticed a man approaching from behind, and I duly closed all my windows and kept my eyes on him. He came up to my passenger side window and asked for money.
I said: “No, sorry.” After the second time of asking, he moved off but about 20m in front of my vehicle he sat next to the fence and defecated. I had a strange feeling as I wondered why he would do that there and not behind me.
I totally ignored him and he then walked back towards my car. I then called the AA again.
While speaking to them, telling them please to send someone urgently as this man was hanging around my car and I was getting nervous, he came up to the window and again asked for money. Again I shook my head as I was speaking to the AA.
The next thing he smashed the window and forced the top part of his body into the car and tried to grab my bag. It was then a struggle between him and I began as I tried desperately to stop him from taking my bag and cellphone.
There was glass everywhere, and slivers in my arms and hands. I screamed as I have never in my life screamed.
After quite a battle he put his hand in his pocket and pretended he had a gun. I let go of my wallet and cell, and he ran off.
I jumped out of the car screaming continuously and stood at the side of my car, which has tour company decals, on the freeway. I screamed and pleaded with someone please to help me.
I don’t know how long I stood there while traffic continuously passed by and it was busy, being lunchtime. Eventually a minibus taxi stopped and three men came and asked if they could call the police.
Shortly after that another man and a young woman stopped, and between them all they called the police, AA and my office, and waited there with me until the AA arrived to tow the car away. We were still waiting for the police.
The woman took me home. I unfortunately I did not get the names of the guys from the taxi, but I wish to thank them for stopping. They were very concerned as I was in such a state and shaking that I could not stand anymore.
I also want to thank Loot Ekstein and Megan de Beer for their kindness and concern, and for stopping to help me. I am just so grateful that I am alive and apart from lots of slivers of glass in my hands and arms, some bruises and scratches, a terrible headache and recovering from the trauma, I am fine.
Women and the elderly, please beware out there. We must all carry pepper spray and keep it where we can grab it quickly because when you are in this type of situation you have to be prepared and have it ready.
A threat happens in a second and if you are not fully aware of what could possibly happen, you are at the disadvantage. Be prepared for anything.
I was on a busy freeway in the middle of the day and this happened. This man could have killed me while the traffic was passing us by and I would only have been found when the AA arrived.
-Lyn Haller, Port Elizabeth