Veruschka Heyns, Mr van der Merwe’s daughter, reached out to www.mobserver.co.za after her father was stabbed in the hand.
Mr van der Merwe (64) resides in Bela Bela, but as a sales rep for Continental Converyors, he visits Middelburg every other week.
The incident took place in broad daylight, at about 15:00, when Mr Van der Merwe visited a store in Walter Sisulu Street.
They suspect that a remote jammer was used, because he locked his bakkie before going into the store.
When Mr van der Merwe came out, he witnessed eight suspects busy rummaging through his vehicle.
When he approached, they demanded that he hand over the possessions he had on him, when one of the assailants lashed out with a knife.
The knife caught him on his hand and Mr Van der Merwe dropped his phone, where after the suspects made off with their loot.
Veruschka said that the thieves had stolen everything in the vehicle, from his suitcase full of clothes, to work documents.
“They even cleared out the cubbyhole and stole what was under the seats.”
Mr Van der Merwe was fortunate to escape any serious injury, and decided to drive back home without receiving any treatment for his injuries.
On his way back to Bela Bela, he stopped at a roadside store, where a lady helped him call his wife. He reported the incident to the Bela Bela SAPS, but has not been back to Middelburg since the incident to open a case.
The family wanted to warn other residents.
“We are relieved that my dad wasn’t fatally injured, but if it was a woman, she would not have stood a chance.”
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