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Rock throwers targeted three motorists on the N2 between Sibaya Casino and uMhlanga Rocks on Tuesday night. In one incident a Chatsworth woman was badly hurt and will undergo facial reconstructive surgery on Thursday.
Vishanie Rabindranath and her husband, Doom, were driving towards the casino at 10.30pm, when a rock crashed through the windscreen, hitting the left side of her face, injuring her lower jaw and knocking out some of her teeth. She also had a gash on her face, said her husband.
He said another rock struck the door on the back passenger side, narrowly missing the car’s window.
“It happened just before the Blackburn pedestrian bridge [between Blackburn Village and uMhlanga Rocks],” Rabindranath said.
He said he drove to Sibaya Casino, where staff there radioed Umhlanga Hospital for an ambulance. Vishanie Rabindranath is now being treated at King Edward VIII Hospital where she will undergo reconstructive surgery.
Her husband said they often made the trip to the casino, but had never experienced anything like this incident before.
Rabindranath said he had seen other motorists being struck by rocks from the bridge.
“This is a huge problem, so they need to find out what happened before this happens to someone else,” he said.
Isaac Pillay said he and his wife had also been attacked on Tuesday night.
“I heard a bang and assumed it was a gunshot,” he said. The rock struck the car’s front fender.
“Even though we were not hurt, this brought back bad memories for me – I had been hijacked a few years ago,” he said. He said that after the incident he had continued driving to the Tongaat Toll Plaza.
“The car was still moving, and I was not going to take the chance of stopping where the incident occurred,” he said.
KZN police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, confirmed the incidents and said that Phoenix police were investigating a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property.
“No arrests have been made.”
Zwane said three incidents of rock throwing were reported to police on Tuesday night.
He said that Saps police presence had been beefed up, and more patrol vehicles had been dispatched to monitor the affected areas.
Motorist Jeeth Singh also opened a case of malicious damage to property.
Ndabezinhle Sibiya, spokes-man for Premier Zweli Mkhize’s office, said Mkhize extended wishes of support and comfort to the people who had been injured.
“In his State of the Province address earlier this year, [Mkhize] heavily emphasised the importance of transport and transport routes to the development of the province. They are a catalyst for big changes, in terms of economic development,” he said.
Incidents, such as the ones reported this week, were a major setback, he said.
He said a plan involving government at a provincial and local level, community groups and law-enforcement agencies needed to be put in place, to find a solution to the problem.
Last month a motorist was killed after two bricks, thrown from a pedestrian bridge on the N2 near the old Durban international airport, smashed through his windscreen and struck his head.
Minutes before security company manager, Michael Nannucci, 71, was hit, a Johannesburg family escaped injury when a brick was thrown at their car at the same spot.
Police investigations into the case continue.