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Hijack victim in fight for justice

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zina rotherham

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Jacaranda FM DJ Paul Rotherham and his wife Zina, who was shot and wounded at a traffic circle, want to get a large number of people to gather outside the Wynberg Magistrates Court to protest against crime. Photo: Itumeleng English

When number three in the identity parade lowered the sheet of paper that was obscuring his face, Zina Rotherham knew right then that she had her gunman.

This was the face Rotherham believed stared at her through the windscreen of a car moments before he raised his gun, aimed it at her head and fired two shots.

One of those bullets hit her wrist as she raised her left hand to shield her face.

That bullet then travelled through her hand, exiting just above her thumb, before becoming lodged just under the skin of her abdomen.

A month after the shooting, Rotherham has made a remarkable recovery.

Her left hand is still bandaged, but she is slowly gaining mobility. She can now form her hand into a fist. Doctors have said she will likely gain 75 percent mobility in her hand, but she is hoping for a full recovery.

“Angels were in that car,” she said.

“Doctors have told me that the bullet passed between two arteries in my wrist. It then missed another artery when it left my hand. I was told if that artery was hit, they would have had to amputate.”

The shooting happened on June 27 on Far East Bank Road in Alexandra.

That afternoon, she had dropped off radio DJ Kieno Kammies at the Gautrain station in Marlboro.

She was at a traffic circle when a man walked in front of her car and shouted for her to get out. He then raised a handgun and shot at her.

Bleeding, she phoned her husband, radio personality Paul Rotherham to tell him she had been shot. He called the paramedics and the police as she drove herself to a petrol station, where she got help.

Rotherham said she knew that if she saw the gunman, she would be able to identify him.

“I knew I would recognise him, I am good with faces.”

A week after the shooting, detectives raided a shack in Alexandra in the early hours of the morning and arrested four men. They were following up on information and believed that one of the men was responsible for her shooting.

Rotherham was invited to an identity parade at the Alexandra police station. When she looked at the line-up of men standing in front of a one-way mirror, she noticed that number three had his identity board raised, covering part of his face.

“I told them that he must move the paper. When he did, I realised it was him. There isn’t a shadow of doubt. I even beat on the glass and shouted that it is him,” she said.

The Rotherhams were told that the suspect was wanted for several other crimes.

Police spokeswoman Captain Kym Cloete said the suspect also faces an unrelated robbery charge.

Police confirmed that the suspect would also appear on two separate cases of car hijacking that were reported in Alexandra a month ago.

The man will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for a bail hearing.

On that day, the Rotherhams want people to gather at the court as a protest against crime and to prevent the alleged gunman from getting bail.

 

“We need the government to acknowledge that this is a real problem,” said Paul.

shaun.smillie@inl.co.za

The Star


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