JOHANNESBURG: Coming off a long shift, a doctor talked would-be robbers – at gunpoint – out of attacking her.
It took place after 10pm on Tuesday when Dr Lisa Augustine stopped at a red traffic light outside one of the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Academic Hospital’s entrances.
Her window was about 5cm open, she said, when two men appeared, demanding her cellphone, which was being charged next to her.
“They told me to hand it over or they would shoot me. One of the men tried to open the back door, which was fortunately locked.
“The guy at my window looked slightly uneasy and I looked him directly in the eye, probably stupidly, but I was exhausted,” she said.
Augustine then told him of her long shift helping his community.
“And suddenly the hostility vanished. He seemed to soften, and his body language changed from being very aggressive.
“He apologised, I handed him R40 and he ran off. I’m sure he is not a bad person – just very desperate,” said Augustine, adding that she cried as she drove off.
A journalist at Cape Times sister paper The Star said words of a similar nature also helped her when confronting danger. A man walked up to reporter Tebogo Manama in Braamfontein.
“He then demanded my phone, saying his friend had a gun. I refused to hand it over. He had a Botswana accent and I asked him why he was coming all the way from that country to steal from me.
“He backed off and by then, because he had delayed me, I insisted he walk me to my front door, which he happily did. As he walked away, he warned me not to walk alone in the area,” she said.
Another journalist said she was driving along Pixley Seme Street when a man put his hand through her open window to rob her.
“I quickly rolled up the window, catching his fingers. He managed to pull them out and ran away.”