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Kimberley - “Fighting back” saved a city doctor’s life when he successfully fought off two suspected thugs who tried to rob him at the municipal dump site over the weekend.
The doctor, who did not want to be named, said that he had gone to the dumps on Saturday morning to dispose of garden refuse when “all of a sudden I was pinned down on the ground and the two men were on top of me trying frantically to rob me off my cellphone”.
He said that while one of the men was sitting on his chest trying to hold him down, the other one was busy trying to get his cellphone out of his pocket.
“I kicked and scratched and even punched, as I fought to get them off me,” he said.
He told the DFA that while all this was happening, he was also shouting for help. Another man, who was also at the site to dump his garden refuse, heard him and rushed over to help.
The man shouted at the two attackers and “only then did they leave me and ran away”, the doctor said.
He sustained minor cuts and bruises during the incident. “I have a cut on my finger and my neck is sore. I also have muscle pain as a result of fending off the attackers. They did not manage to take my cellphone fighting back really saved my life,” he said.
He explained that the incident happened while his helper was busy offloading the refuse from the back of the bakkie and that he (the doctor) had helped him earlier but later moved to stand in front of the bakkie.
“I’m amazed that my helper did not see anything because it took a stranger from afar to came and help me,” the doctor pointed out.
He stated that while he was standing in front of his bakkie, he did see one of the attackers coming towards him, but he thought that the man was going to walk past.
“I never even saw the second man coming up from behind me. I just felt someone grabbing me and saw the man in front of me pulling out a sharp object. The next moment I was on the ground.”
He said that he called the police after the incident. “They took a long time to come but they eventually arrived. I told them what had happened and because the attackers did not take anything from me and I could not even remember how they looked, I did not open a case. But they said that they will take up the matter with their CPF (Community Policing Forum),” the doctor said.
He added that this was the first time that anyone tried to rob him at the dumps. “I come to the dumps every Saturday. I think it would be better for the municipality or the police to monitor the dumps.”
The Sol Plaatje Municipality said that it had received several complaints regarding attacks on residents by vagrants living at the dumping site.
“These incidents have prompted our own municipal security officials and the police to conduct regular patrols at the dumps,” municipal spokesman, Sello Matsie, said.
He explained that the police had gone to the extent of advising the municipality on several measures it should implement with regards to the situation at the dump site.
“We have also issued a warning to members of the public through all forms of media that the situation at the dumping ground is not advisable to go there on your own. Special arrangements can also be made with us to collect your garden refuse.
“We are in the process of turning the situation around through a plan that will make the dump site a modern facility with recycling taking place,” Matsie stated.
He sympathised with the doctor and said that the municipality would do all it can to assist in apprehending those responsible.
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