Durban - A Glenwood lecturer is fighting for his life after being shot in an apparent hijacking before his car was abandoned a few kilometres away.
His girlfriend, Balisa Makaula, suspects he may have been targeted after an argument at a bar a few hours earlier.
She said on Sunday she watched helplessly as Luntu Nocha, 32, was shot at point-blank range as they came home from an evening out at about 8.30 on Saturday.
Nocha was scheduled to undergo surgery today to remove a bullet lodged in his chest.
Makaula said they had just driven into their garage when two men approached, shouting at them to get out of the car. “They closed the garage door behind them and came straight for Luntu, grabbing him by his clothes and dragging him out of the car,” she said.
A struggle ensued as the eThekwini College lecturer tried to fight them off. Both assailants tackled him, hauling him out of the garage, which they had re-opened.
“I stood frozen on the side of the car and then a shot rang out. He fell to the ground; his body rolled towards the end of the driveway,” she said.
Makaula said the attackers pointed a gun at her and told her to get out. “I ran to the house to call for help as they sped away.”
Nocha’s friend and neighbour, Sihle Manciya, said he was in the bathroom when he heard the shot. “I opened the window to listen. When I heard nothing, I went outside.”
By this time, Manciya’s neighbour, Ivan van der Merwe, had come to Nocha’s aid.
Van der Merwe said he had heard Makaula scream, then the shot and the screeching of tyres as the assailants made off with Nocha’s VW Polo Classic.
“He was lying at the bottom of the driveway, conscious but not speaking. He had been shot once on the side of the chest,” he said.
“I remembered he was friends with Sihle and went to call him.”
Fearing the ambulance would take too long, Manciya went back to his flat to bring his car. The two men lifted Nocha into his car and drove to St Augustine’s Hospital.
“On the road, he started speaking, saying he was going to die,” said Manciya.
After being stabilised, Nocha was transferred by ambulance to King Edward VIII Hospital, where Manciya and Makaula visited him on Sunday.
Manciya said: “He seemed really bad, he was not talking.”
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said a case of attempted murder and hijacking was being investigated.
He confirmed Nocha’s vehicle had been found in uMbilo.
Makaula said: “It doesn’t make sense that they would shoot him for his car then abandon it.
“It had plenty of petrol, so it’s not like they could no longer drive it.”