HELPING HANDS: Carmen Zeeman (left) and Hazel Overmeyer, residents od the De Waal flats came to the rescue of the woman who was blindfolded and had her hands and feet bound. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
Cape Town - At the same time as a report is released showing Cape Town as the city with the highest crime fear factor in South Africa, a young woman is still traumatised after being abducted by three men in a taxi and left bound and gagged in the middle of De Waal Drive.

The woman, who works in Goodwood, took a taxi home on Tuesday evening after work. The driver and accomplices in the taxi tied her hands and placed a damped scarf over her face. Her kidnappers then forced her to call her family and ask them for ransom money.

Her mother, who lives in the Eastern Cape, gave the kidnappers R3000 through an electronic funds transfer. Her sister also sent money this way.

After her ordeal, she was dumped her in Lower De Waal Drive, Zonnebloem.

Carmen Zeeman was smoking outside her flat along De Waal Drive when she saw the woman.

“I saw a girl running up and down in the road and I thought it was a drug addict, but when she came closer I noticed her hands and feet were tied and she had a scarf over her neck. A man tried to approach her but she was too scared of the man,” Zeeman said.

“The woman was incredibly traumatised and exceedingly emotional.

“She didn’t want anybody to come near her at all but I told her we here to help her,” Zeeman said.

“She also told us that the three suspects tried to rape her,” said Godfrey Zeeman, Carmen’s husband.

Zeeman’s neighbour, Hazel Overmeyer, was with the woman as well. “The girl told me that when she got into the taxi, (the men) fought with her and threatened her to get the family’s number.”

The woman’s mother says she is not ready to talk to the media.

Police have opened a case of kidnapping. “No-one has been arrested,” said spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana.

A report, The State of Urban Safety in SA Cities, compiled by the Institute of Safety Governance and Criminology at UCT in collaboration with the SA Cities Network, showed that of all the cities in the country, Capetonians are the most fearful of crime. Of the people surveyed, 28% said they had safety concerns.

This was followed by the Buffalo City Municipality in the Eastern Cape (27%) and Joburg with 24%.

Living in fear. Graphic: Devon Daniels/ANA Graphics

“Across the nine cities, fear of crime seems to correlate well with only one crime type, murder. Cape Town, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay also have the highest murder rates,” said the report.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said: “The report should be a wake-up call for national police management.

“The finding of a 40% increase in the murder rate in Cape Town in the past five years is in line with our own analyses of crime stats.

“A clear trend emerges: the majority of violent crime in Cape Town occurs within 10 policing precincts - representing just 7% of all precincts in the province.” 

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Cape Argus