January 09 2007 at 09:00AM
By Cornelia du Plooy and Harriet Knight
Hijackings in the driveways of homes in Pretoria have become increasingly common over recent months.
The latest attack happened on Sunday when a woman was shot in her Mountain View driveway just after 8pm. This was the fourth incident of its kind in the past few months.
Awie and Heleen Coetzee paid a visit to their fellow church members Gert and Lanie Daffue on Sunday evening.
'I heard her screams and ran towards her'
Awie had run into the house to drop off some documents, while Lanie waited in the car before she got out of the car with the family dog. Awie said: "When she turned around the men confronted her with guns and asked for the keys.
"I heard her screams and ran towards her, but I fell and as she tried to run away she also fell. In all the commotion the hijackers fired two shots and one hit Lanie in her right foot. The hijackers took off with our Mercedes-Benz."
Lanie Daffue's son Gerhard said his mom came out of the house with pepper spray when she heard the screams: "It must have startled them and that was when they fired the shots. My mother underwent an operation because part of the bullet was still lodged in her foot."
In July 2006 Miems Maxwell went to visit her sister in Meyerspark when she narrowly escaped being hijacked and emerged with little more than a flesh wound to her wrist.
Zelda Saaiman was gunned down in her Brooklyn home in August after trying to escape a hijacker who had followed her home.
On New Year's day Dr Cornelius de Klerk was shot dead and his brother Nico critically injured in a botched hijacking in Brooklyn. The two were confronted by the hijackers in the driveway. Nico had arrived from Windhoek to celebrate the new year with his brother.
LifeMed Ambulance Services paramedic Hugo Minnaar attends to many similar situations.
He said: "Not a week goes by where we do not get called to shootings and hijackings. We're considering wearing bullet proof jackets."
Marius Vermaak of Crisis On Call, an identification system aimed at providing life-saving information to medical personnel in situations where a person is unable to communicate, said such incidents no longer happened to other people: "It happens right here, right now."
Criminologist Irma Labuschagne said it was easy to become a target for hijackings in suburbs. "This is because criminals are able to stake out entire areas. They record the movements of the residents and very quickly one can pick up on certain routines people follow, making those watched very vulnerable. It is important when travelling at night or early evening to keep all doors and windows locked."
This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on January 09, 2007