Yes, you heard me correctly and I’m not mad and I’m not in denial. Today I experienced firsthand how the informal networks in my local communities collaborated to help, support and care for me as a victim of crime and how these networks linked with the police to hunt down suspects. No arrests have been made yet but I will not be surprised if it happens within the next to hours.
This morning I was on my way to visit a friend in Alexandra when I stopped at a red traffic light around :. Before it turned green I saw a hand coming through the open window and I heard a voice instructing me to leave the key and my cell phone and to hurry up and get out of the car quickly.
The voice, which strangely enough didn’t sound aggressive, belonged to a young man in his early twenties. I looked down at his other hand that was pointing a firearm at my abdomen inside the car. I thought it looked like a toy gun but I didn’t want to take any chances so I just followed instructions. He had two buddies on the other side, one also with a firearm, or was it a toy gun?
They quickly sped off with my car which also contained a bag with some cash, my wallet with all the important cards that are so irritatingly difficult to replace and my beloved cell phone – eish…
The first person to help me was a total stranger who operates an informal public phone business right there on the corner where I was hijacked. He allowed me to call my wife free of charge. The firestation let me make a few more phone calls.
An eyewitness told me that he knows one of the suspects. He accompanied me and two friends to the police station. My friend who lives in a shack with his parents paid the taxi fare for the four of us. They stayed with me all the time and allowed me to use their cell phones as needed. One of them, a new friend, called me again tonight to hear how I was and how my family was.
They gathered excellent information about the suspect and my car was recovered around :, just a few blocks away from the crime scene. The Alexandra police were very helpful and professional.
The gardener/caretaker at the property where we rent a home drove to the police station twice to assist me. On our way home he dropped me at our local community police chief who passed all the relevant information on to a community policing contact in Alex to be followed up. I was informed that an arrest could be expected soon.
My dear wonderful lovely wife Cecile not only organised lunch and a bottle of water to be delivered to me at the police station but also took care of a lot of other calls and arrangements. She even organised me a new temporary cell phone nr complete with sim card in my old phone. Email me at learnmylanguage at gmail dot com with your name to get my new nr.
I was never scared. Instead I felt loved and cared for. I’m very grateful that I wasn’t hurt. After today I love South Africa even more because the majority of our people hate crime and injustice. Tonight I feel an incredible peace and a special solidarity with the victims of crime who have come off far worse than me. Most importantly I sense that we will not be overcome with hopelessness and dispair. By the grace of God we will overcome.