Durban – “God spared my life for a reason.”
That’s how hijack victim Faradh Patel feels after he was shot twice in a botched hijacking in Gauteng a month ago.
Recovering at his family home in Pietermaritzburg, Patel, the former station manager at Al Ansaar Radio Station, said doctors had told him the bullet had missed his main artery by a millimetre.
“There was a reason God spared my life and I plan to make the most of it,” said the businessman.
Patel said he was also grateful that although he spent five days in intensive care, he did not have to undergo any major surgery.
“I only had three stitches.”
Patel was first shot in the rib cage. The bullet ricocheted and hit his organs, including a lung, his liver and a kidney, before exiting his back.
He was also shot in the right arm.
“Even though my arm is in a hard plaster, I am confident I will soon be making use of it.”
However, one of the things Patel is known for is his radio voice, which he lost as a result of the trauma.
“But I am undergoing counselling,” he said. “Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my sense of humour!”
Speaking of the incident, Patel said he had been on business in Gauteng on November 8. It occurred on the M2 highway at around 7pm.
“It was a Monday night and I had been travelling from Fordsburg to Gold Reef City. On the way I stopped at a service station to get something to drink. It was only later we discovered on CCTV footage at the service station that someone had let the air out of my back tyre.
“I began driving on the highway when a car (a VW Polo Cross) signalled there was a problem.
“I pulled off on the side of the highway and called Roadside Assist.”
Patel said that within seconds, despite peak traffic, two hijackers who he assumed had been following him from the service station began knocking on his window and demanded he get out of the car.
“One pointed a firearm at me, while the other got into my car and began ransacking it for my cellphone, iPad and other valuables.
“I became very angry and told him he could not have the car and he shot me.”
He said the hijackers then fled and he began chasing them down the highway and waving down motorists to help.
“I did not even know that my white shirt turned black as a result of my bleeding.
“Three people stopped and they called the ambulance.”