December 7, 2013

Shooting After Nelson Mandela’s Funeral

By Grant Anderson

Last Monday (December 2, 2013), on the eve of one of the largest security operations surrounding the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the father of democracy in South Africa, and a scant few kilometers from the iconic “Calabash” stadium in which it was held, one of our clients locked up his business and headed home.

He headed through the security gates, which enclose his business, and within meters, things went very, very wrong. Assailant’s with AK 47’s jumped out of a vehicle parked on the side of the road, gesturing for him to stop.He slammed his Range Rover into reverse and tried to make for the relative safety of the gated security area. An assailant opened fire with his AK, striking the windshield directly in front of him. The round shattered against the ballistic glass directly in front of our client. His guards opened the gates and he was able to find safety. The assailants jumped into their vehicle and sped away.
Another shaken call to us along the lines of “ Thanks, guys, you saved my life!”

As I sat down to write this last Thursday morning I had a frantic call from my wife who teaches at a small Pilate’s studio. She had been running literally a minute late for her class. A co-instructor had just pulled into the parking outside the studio and was accosted by three armed assailants. One leaned into the car, pushed a pistol to her head and said: “ Don’t scream, I hate it when they scream”. They rapidly stripped her of her wedding ring and handbag and jumped into their car, a new BMW 118. Wheel spinning away, they almost crashed into my wife.

Luckily no one was injured, but I shudder to think of what would have happened if my wife had driven into the situation.The same day an innocent bystander was injured in the crossfire between the police and a gang of hijackers, about ten kilometers from my home.

For all the wonders that democracy has brought to the rainbow nation, huge challenges remain, challenges that will likely take generations to overcome. Crime is inextricably linked to these, and from my perspective, it looks like its going to get worse before it gets better.

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