Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Hijackers slit man's throat

19/09/2006 09:52 - (SA)

Schalk Mouton, Beeld

Pretoria - A man from the East Rand, whose throat was cut during an unsuccessful hijacking, apparently tried to pursue his attackers before he collapsed due to blood loss.

Clarance Potgieter, 25, from Brenthurst in Brakpan, had spent Saturday afternoon with friends at the Rand Airport in Germiston, according to his wife Joey.

On the way back he stopped at a petrol station at the corner of Springs and Denne Road in Brakpan to fill up his tank.

He was apparently attacked by four men when he left the filling station at about 17:00.

Nothing stolen

His door was opened and his throat was slit with a sharp knife.

"We don't know whether it was done on purpose or whether it was a hijacking, as nothing was stolen," said his wife.

"He had two cellphones, his wallet and a laptop in the car, but nothing was stolen," she said.

Vocal cords damaged

The circumstances surrounding the incident were very vague as Potgieter's vocal cords were damaged and he cannot speak. He communicates with gestures and sketches. Apparently he tried to pursue his attackers, before turning back to the filling station and collapsing.

"I think at the time he didn't realise that his throat had been cut, but then he became dizzy and drove back to the filling station," said his wife.

"He got out of the car, handed his keys to one of the employees and collapsed."

Friend at filling station

Leon Stander, a school friend, was standing at the window of the filling station when he saw Potgieter collapse.

"I came outside and saw a man sitting in a pool of blood. Upon closer inspection, I saw it was my friend," said Stander.

He put Potgieter in his car and took him to hospital.

Throat cut to the vertebrae

Dr Jean Klopper, head of the trauma unit at Glynwood Hospital in Benoni, said Potgieter's throat had been cut to the vertebrae.

"It must have been a very sharp, broad object," said Klopper. "It was a very clean cut."

According to Klopper, Potgieter had lost 1.5 litres of blood before he received treatment.


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