Durban - A 9-year-old Phoenix girl has been lauded for her bravery after saving a toddler and herself from the grasp of armed robbers by executing a daring escape plan.
Seconds after realising a house robbery was in progress at her dad’s friend’s house, where she had been playing outside with his son, Afton Pillay placed wooden pallets near a 1.5m high wall, pushed the 2-year-old boy over and followed him over into the neighbours’ yard.
HOUSE ROBBERY IN NEW PARK Rd . Shastri Park.ANYBODY WITH INFORMATION ON THIS WHITE POLO TO CONTACT PHX SAPS OR KZN VIP ASAP!!!5 African males all armed came in white polo with dark tinted windows a black roof, possibly a tsi or comfort line polo. Owners were assaulted and a 1month old baby was thrown to the ground by the Suspects as they demanded for valuables.KZN VIP was alerted by a neighbour but upon arrival suspects fled, KZN VIP MEDICAL N RESCUE were called to assist and treated the baby, the other children who were in shock were also treated and rushed to hospital by KZN VIP MEDICS.KZN VIP together with SAPS are on scene. Please Share.
Homeowner Sheldon Rampershad, of Shastri Park, described Afton’s efforts to escape from harm’s way with his son, Arnav, as heroic.
The girl alerted neighbours of the armed robbery, but when help arrived the four suspects had already fled in a white VW getaway car waiting on the roadside.
The incident was captured on Rampershad’s CCTV camera.
“She was at the back of the house playing with my son and did not know there were robbers inside until she attempted to enter.
“They saw her and tried to prevent her from leaving but, with my son on her hip, she ran away, placed pallets on the ground to add height, and managed to get Arnav and herself over,” said Rampershad, 31, who is self-employed.
“For a 9-year-old, she is a heroine in my eyes.
“She could have stood there and cried but she was a brave girl,” he told POST after Monday’s ordeal.
Speaking about the incident, he said Afton’s brother, 18-year-old Creighton, was pouring water into buckets at the outside tap, as the area where they live had no water. A helper was loading the buckets on to a bakkie.
In the video, Creighton lowers his head just as the first robber enters the property. The robber is almost inside when the teenager sees him and flees. Other robbers enter and drag the helper into the house.
Rampershad said his wife, Anisha, 28, was in the kitchen making coffee, while he was lying on the bed with their 1-month-old daughter, Aryahi, when he heard her scream out his name.
“I knew something was wrong. I picked up our baby and as we were leaving the bedroom, the men pushed my wife inside and instructed us to lie on the floor.
“They wanted to know where the safe was and demanded jewellery. I told them we did not have a safe and they could take whatever they wanted and leave.”
Rampershad crouched on the floor trying to protect his infant daughter under him. He said when he tried to lift his head up, he was kicked.
“We gave them the jewellery and they then left.”
Camera footage showed a white VW drive past, then reverse a few times before leaving with the men.
Glen Naidoo of KZN VIP Protection Services, which responded to the incident, warned residents to keep their gates and doors locked at all times.
Afton Pillay flees with baby Arnav after realising a robbery was in progress.
CCTV footage shows Creighton Pillay filling buckets with water. He did not see the first armed robber enter the property until the robber was almost inside.