Cape Town - Businessman Tyrone Bull believes he was saved by a Christmas miracle after four armed robbers abducted him on Christmas Eve and threatened his life.
Bull was held captive in a car for nearly three hours by the men, who offered him a lift to Cape Town from Muizenberg.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said Bull’s alleged kidnappers had been arrested and charged with kidnapping, robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon.
More charges might be added as the case continued.
The 46-year-old businessman from KwaZulu-Natal said he had left a friend’s party at about 10pm and went in search of a train back to Cape Town. When he realised the last one had already gone, he decided to hitchhike to the city.
The men, driving a white Opel Corsa, stopped and offered to drive him to town if he paid for petrol.
Then what he had at first believed to be a stroke of luck turned into a nightmare.
He said he realised he was trapped in the two-door car when the men drove towards Pollsmoor Prison, telling him, “this is where we come from, and we are not going back there”.
A struggle ensued, but the men threatened him with a gun before taking his wallet, cellphone and shoes.
They then cruised from Hout Bay to Camps Bay. Bull said he was convinced they were looking for a place to dump his body.
Finally, it was as they were heading out of the city centre that his luck changed, Bull said.
As they passed the Mount Nelson Hotel, they stopped at a red traffic light, next to a meter taxi.
“I kicked the driver’s seat and managed to force my way to the front passenger’s window and screamed for the taxi driver to help me,” Bull said.
“The Corsa sped off and I could see the taxi pull into a nearby petrol station from the rear window. It broke me because I thought that was it for me.”
But as the Corsa was about to head on to De Waal Drive, they were suddenly surrounded by police cars.
“When I saw the blue lights, I thought I was imagining them. But then the Corsa pulled over to the side of the road. The kidnappers lay on the ground with their hands behind their backs.”
He found out later that the taxi driver reported what he had seen to a squad of policemen parked at the filling station.
“That taxi driver was an angel. He saved my life,” Bull said, adding that he had also learnt that one of the kidnappers was allegedly wanted for murder, and two others for armed robbery.
“I can only describe what happened that night as a miracle. At every turn things seemed to get worse and worse, and I honestly believed I was going to die. Luckily, I’m still somehow standing at the end of it, and I have to say thank you to the police for their quick response, and to the cab driver who saw me.”