Sunday, 23 April 2006

Woman gunned down outside Craighall home

April 22 2006 at 08:29AM

By Noor-Jehan Yoro Badat and Sheree Russouw

It should have been a routine morning on Friday for Tessa Goldworthy as she slowly reversed out of the driveway of her home in Craighall Park, Johannesburg. Her grandchild, three, was in the car, as well as a 23-year-old friend.

Suddenly the sound of gunshots disturbed the quiet suburb as Goldworthy was gunned down by four armed hijackers who approached her car as she was reversing into Hamilton Street.

Police spokesperson Captain Schalk Bornman said the gang had ordered Goldworthy to get out of her silver Mercedes-Benz C180 Kompressor.

'She was a fine friend' According to local security company ADT, a neighbour of Goldworthy's "heard screaming and ran inside his home", where he pressed his panic button.

But it was too late. Goldworthy had been shot twice in the chest and died shortly afterwards. No one else was injured in the attack.

Roy Rawlins, managing director of ADT Security's western region, said his response unit arrived minutes after the shooting.

"When we heard it was a hijacking, we dispatched a back-up vehicle," he said. "Our vehicle was shot at five times - but none of our reaction officers were injured. When our back-up vehicle arrived, the hijackers pushed the officer on the ground, hijacked his car and drove away, obviously not aware that the car was equipped with GPS [global positioning system]. Our other vehicle gave chase."

"The suspects crashed into a vehicle on William Nichol Drive in Sandton," he said.

"When the hijackers drove away, the reaction officers shot after them. We believe we hit one of them because when our officers approached the crashed car, it was covered with blood. The suspects fled on foot. One of the guns was recovered."

When Rawlins heard of the incident, he went to Goldworthy's home, where her son had just heard of her death.

"It was really sad - our officers have had to receive trauma counselling for this. The whole suburb is on high alert now."

Shocked family members, friends and neighbours gathered outside Goldworthy's home. Family members were too traumatised to speak to the media. Her eldest son had apparently collapsed upon hearing the news of her death.

Pam Wilson, a friend of Goldworthy's, said she and Goldworthy, a widow, had just spent "a nice weekend together".

"I had just brought flowers to her to say thanks," she said, shaking her head in dismay.

Apparently it was not the first time that Goldworthy had been the victim of a hijacking.

A domestic worker who worked for Goldworthy for 19 years said: "She was a fine friend. We were born the same year."

Residents added that Hamilton Street had become a target for criminals. "This is the second murder within three weeks in Craighall Park," said one concerned resident.

Bornman said a case of attempted hijacking, murder and theft of a motor vehicle has been opened at Parkview police station.

The Johannesburg Anti-Hijacking Unit was investigating the incident. No arrests had been made by last night.

This article was originally published on page 2 of Saturday Star on April 22, 2006


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