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Cape Town - A Cape Town father endured a harrowing three-minute ordeal when a group of armed men tried to hijack him and his young children on one of Cape Town’s busiest roads.
Monsurio Mallum said he was “lucky” to be alive after narrowly escaping a violent crime on Saturday.
As the men tried to push Mallum into his vehicle, metro police officers on routine patrol noticed the struggle and chased the suspects.
Mallum, from the southern suburbs, was travelling home on the N2 on Saturday afternoon. His five-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son were singing in the backseat when Mallum felt the car wobbling.
“I could feel the car and knew it was a flat tyre. I drove for a few kilometres before pulling off to the side.”
He stopped near Mew Way intersection, heading towards town, just after 3pm.
Mallum locked the car, with his two young children moving to the front seat to get a better view of their father changing the tyre.
Mallum was fixing the last nut on the spare wheel, when he was surrounded by a group of five men.
“The one hooked me in and said: ‘Get in the f****** car.’ I could feel the gun digging into my side.”
At that moment, Mallum knew he was going to try his best not to get into the car.
“I thought once I’m in that car, no one will see what’s happening. As long as I’m outside, someone will notice me. I had to stay visible.”
One of the men tried to pull Mallum into the car but he resisted. Eventually this man was pushed on to the passenger seat, with Mallum on top of him.
“The other guy was trying to push me into the car. I could feel the gun, but I thought if it goes off it’s going to hit both of us.”
The one man frisked Mallum, taking his cellphone. Mallum saw the passing cars and willed them to stop.
None did. But, just like that, the ordeal was over.
“These guys just started running. I wasn’t sure what was happening. Then I saw them [the police] chasing them.”
The metro police were wearing plain clothes and travelling in an unmarked car.
One of the men was arrested.
Following the incident, Mallum has made an appeal to all residents to “constantly be on the look-out”.
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the most disturbing part of Mallum’s story was that the men were trying to get him into the car.
“It’s one thing when they throw you out and take your vehicle. In this scenario, there is a firearm and they’re trying to bundle him into the car. And that’s very unnerving.”
Smith said the fact that the officers were in an unmarked car meant the suspects could not spot them approaching.
“This is what people have been asking for, more policing patrols,” he said.