June 17 2007 at 11:59AM
By Doreen Premdev
A Northdene mother held on tightly to her 16-month-old baby, trying to shield him from two gun-wielding men who attacked the family after their car broke down near Bellair, in south Durban.
Nicholene McPherson, 22, her mother, Jacoba McPherson, 42, and her baby, Jordan, were returning home from a party in Umbilo at 9pm on Thursday when their car stalled on Bellair Road.
Nicholene McPherson said her mother managed to drive it to the side of the road.
"The road was lonely and the street lights were not working," McPherson said. "We had been there for only a few minutes when my mother noticed two men walking towards the car. She said, 'Lock your doors, here they come,' and the next thing I heard was a gun shot.
"They had fired into the car and one of the windows had shattered. One man opened the door and demanded cellphones and other valuables. I gave them my cellphone. The men took the phone and walked away. But they turned around a few feet away and walked back to the car."
Thinking they were going to be killed, McPherson wrapped her arms around her son, trying desperately to protect him, while her mother tried to start the car. They came back and pointed the gun at my head. My mother was hysterical. She thought they were going to shoot me. I calmed her down.
"The men demanded her cellphone, which she gave to them. Before leaving they fired two shots, one at my mother's hand and the other entered my right hand. The same bullet entered Jordan's back, exiting through his stomach.
"I hadn't realised he was shot, because I was still in shock. I only realised what had happened when I felt warm liquid run down my stomach.
"I looked down at Jordan and he was bleeding," McPherson said.
Still holding her baby, she got out of the car and tried to stop passersby, but nobody would. Eventually she stood in the middle of the road, forcing a driver to stop. The man was a doctor, and he called an ambulance and police.
Jordan and his grandmother were taken to Albert Luthuli Memorial Hospital. Jacoba was expected to be discharged on Saturday. However baby Jordan continues to fight for his life.
Supt Danelia Veldhuizen said anyone with information that might lead to the arrest of the two men, believed to be in their early 20s, should call Insp Sivan Naidoo, at 031 451 2819 or 083 519 0356.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Tribune on June 17, 2007