Durban - A Cato Manor father spoke of his traumatic hijacking experience and how he recovered his own car two weeks later.
Alvin Thamotharan, of Bonela, 49, a printing company manager, was leaving for work at 6am when he was confronted outside his home by three men.
At gunpoint they bundled him into the back seat of his black Mercedes-Benz and drove off on Friday, September 9.
The hijackers left Thamotharan in uMlazi unharmed.
“My head was pushed on to the floor behind the driver’s seat.
“My feet were on top of the back seat at an awkward position. One of the hijackers sat in the back seat with his foot on my head.
“They kept threatening to kill me and leave my body in the car. They wanted to know if I had a tracker,” Thamotharan said.
They asked him for his identification number, his full name and surname. His wallet and cellphone were pulled out of his pocket.
“I could hear one of them type on a laptop and then speaking on a police two-way radio in Zulu. The car was moving at a high speed. I had no idea where I was.
“At one stage they stopped for five minutes. The hijacker stood outside the door with his one leg on my head. They somehow found out the car did not have a tracker,” Thamotharan said.
They informed him that they would spare his life. Thamotharan at the time found it hard to believe. The car braked hard.
The hijacker removed his foot from Thamotharan’s head, grabbed him and threw him out on to the pavement.
“They said sleep down’. I heard the car take off and I made a run for it without looking back. I had no idea where I was,” Thamotharan said.
“On the Road 223, a bakkie stopped and the man offered me a lift to the police station. I just wanted to go home and hug my family. They may have thought I was dead,” he said.
Thamotharan was taken to Cato Manor police station and accompanied home by detectives who also counselled him.
On Wednesday, Thamotharan was on his way to work with his son when he saw his Mercedes in King Cetshwayo (Jan Smuts) Highway.
He made a U-turn and followed the car to the Department of Public Works building in Mayville.
“The car still had my number plates on. I could not believe that for 13 days it was passing police cars without anyone taking notice. The driver, a young chap, got out and walked towards the office.
“The events that followed shocked me and made me lose faith in the justice system and police,” he said.
Thamotharan said when police were summoned, they walked casually next to the driver of the car and did not allow him to stand near his own car or check if his personal belongings were inside.
Thamotharan was told to go to Mayville police station and wait.
The Mercedes had dents, the paintwork was scraped in certain places, the bumper was loose and the tyres bulging.
He said his car was filthy inside with takeaway food boxes.
“The criminal got more rights than me no matter how I look at it.
“The fact that he was driving a stolen car makes him a criminal. What if he shot the cop in the car? We work hard.
“Nothing got given to us. We are scared they might return. I was left with the insurance excess bill of R5 000,” Thamotharan said.
Police spokeswoman, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said a case of carjacking was opened at Cato Manor police station.
The hijacking task team has taken over the investigation. The car was impounded by police.