By Annisa Essack
A traumatized 31-year-old caregiver narrowly escaped being raped and murdered in Howick on Monday.
The victim said that at around 12:15 pm, she left her client’s home at the Eagle Ridge Estate on Curry’s Post Road. As she came out the gate, she was accosted by a man who pointed a gun at her. She was then forced into the car, where two other women and a man grabbed hold of her and took her bag and cellphone. The kidnappers then drove to the Curry’s Post landfill site.
On reaching the municipal dump, she began screaming for help but was threatened by the men armed with knives and guns.
One of the men received a phone call, and at that point, she decided to escape. After a short struggle, she managed to get out and ran off to hide in the nearby bush. The kidnappers searched but could not find her.
As soon as she felt safe, the woman ran toward the road and managing to wave down a motorist who assisted her.
“I told him what had happened to me, and he took me to the police station,” she said. “I’m so scared now. I don’t want to go into town, and I can’t sleep at night.”
Nightingales Home Based Care Services’ Lorraine Meadows says that the client is very concerned about the victim, and other staff are nervous and jittery as they feel unsafe, especially as the attack took place in broad daylight.
uMngeni ward councillor Hazel Lake (DA) said the case was “very shocking and frightening”.
“It is unfortunate that we have to have these sorts of incidents and that people have to go through such terror.
“We need more policing and more safety in our communities, and we need our municipality to consider how this can be achieved,” she said.
The Howick community has rallied around the caregiver, and a social worker from the Angel’s Care Centre in Howick has offered to provide her with trauma counselling.
Staff from Knight Security Services and the Community Safety Initiative (CSI), which operates in Hilton and Howick, are checking security footage to try and trace the kidnappers.
A case has been opened at the Howick Police Station.