Businessman hijacked, stabbed with broken bottle
A Uitenhage businessman narrowly escaped with his life after he was hijacked and stabbed several times with a broken bottle following an ambush in which two men blockaded the road by placing rubble across it.
The daylight hijacking on the R334, between Coega and Motherwell, happened at about midday on Monday when the 60-year-old engineer, who lives in Amsterdamhoek, managed to fire one shot with his firearm before the robbers wrestled it away.
Neither the man nor the hospital at which he is being treated are being named for his safety.
This is one of several similar hijackings and robberies along the R334 that has taken place in recent years.
In other incidents, written about in The Herald, stray animals were used as an obstruction with motorists attacked when they stopped because of the animals.
During the hijacking on Monday, the businessman was stabbed multiple times in the upper body and arm before he was thrown into the back of his Volkswagen Amarok bakkie.
He jumped out of the bakkie and escaped.
The man, who underwent an operation on Monday night, has been at the hospital’s Vascular Cardio Care Unit but was moved to the general ward by Tuesday afternoon.
An official close to the case said: “He stopped when he came across rubble that was scattered across the road. As he stopped, two men ran out from the bushes and attacked him.”
“His driver side window was down and the men used a broken bottle neck to stab him several times in the upper body. During the attack, he managed to reach into the cubbyhole for his firearm.”
The official said the driver fired a shot in an attempt to get away.
“It is unknown if he hit any of the suspects at this stage however it is suspected that one could have been shot in the hand,” the official said.
“After the shot was fired, the attackers managed to wrestle the firearm out of his hand and force him out of the vehicle.
“They then threw him into the back of the bakkie and drove onto a nearby gravel road.”
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said details were sketchy, however, confirmed that the man managed to escape by jumping out of the moving bakkie and running into the bushes.
“The suspects stopped the bakkie and gave chase. The victim however managed to run into the bush and circle back to the bakkie while being chased. The keys were inside they vehicle and he sped off leaving the attackers behind.”
By 1:30pm he had managed to drive to the Swartkops police station for help.
“By chance, an ambulance was at the police station at that exact moment and [ambulance staff] treated the man before rushing him to hospital,” Beetge said.
Beetge said the bottleneck used in the attack was still in the bakkie.
“The vehicle was impounded and taken for forensic evidence,” he said.
The man’s daughter said the family was shaken up by the attack.
“When he got to hospital the doctors actually said that it was amazing he got away and managed to drive due to the blood loss. When driving he kept losing consciousness,” she said.
“He is on morphine and still a bit out of it at the moment,” she added saying the man might speak about the incident later in the week.
On the R334, since 2014, there have been several attacks and hijackings of motorists.
In August, 2015 a Uitenhage restaurant owner was stabbed 12 times and robbed in broad daylight when he parked at the roadside near Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.
At the time, the victim described the attack as a swift and well planned ambush where hijackers lay in wait alongside the road.
In the past, several other robberies in which cattle were chased onto the road had also been reported on the street.
Police warned motorists to avoid using the road or, if they spot cattle or rubble on the road, to turn around.
Beetge said there had been no incidents reported along the road in recent months.
“Based on this incident, we have increased patrols in the area to prevent further attacks,” he said.