Family hijacked, robbed outside store

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Copy of ND HIJACK DAILY NEWS Claudine Naidoo with her daughter, Isabella, and her father, Cliffy Padayatchee, are relieved to have escaped unharmed during a hijacking. Picture: Puri Devjee

Durban - A Chatsworth nurse has spoken of her harrowing ordeal when she, her 18-month-old daughter and father were held at gunpoint during a hijacking outside a local store.

The incident took place outside Silvermount Superette in Moorton at about 1pm on Tuesday. The owner of the store was also robbed.

Soobramoney “Cliffy” Padayatchee, 53, was on his way home with his daughter, Claudine Naidoo, 28, and her daughter, Isabella, when he stopped to buy cigarettes.

Within a minute, three men had approached the car, a silver VW Polo, and held up the family at gunpoint.

“I was holding Isabella sitting on the passenger side when I saw two men walk across the road. One had earphones and they gave the impression they didn’t know each other,” Naidoo said on Wednesday.

The men suddenly turned on her father, while a third man appeared and held a gun to her head, she said.

“The man pulled my thali (a Hindu traditional necklace) which got caught in my hair. He kept pulling, so I decided to get out because I was fearing the worst,” Naidoo said.

She backed away from the car with her baby, while the other two men robbed her father and the shop. They made off with Naidoo’s car and thali, her father’s wallet, and cash and cigarettes from the shop.

Shortly after the incident, it was circulated on social media that the toddler had been taken during the hijacking and had been found later, but this was not true, said Naidoo.

On Wednesday Padayatchee said he was still reeling from shock.

“When I jumped out of the car, I just felt something hit my back and I heard a clicking noise. I knew it was a gun. He (the robber) kept telling my daughter not to scream or he would shoot. He grabbed my wallet, which had R550 in it with my ID,” he said.

The owner of the superette, Nizam Miah, said the gunmen had robbed him of cash and cigarettes, worth about R3 000.

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