Listen: Pretoria hijacking victim speaks out

A man who was saved from hijackers by a brave passer-by says he’s lucky to be alive.

Agreement Mathebula, who was held at gunpoint by hijackers in the backseat of his car in The Orchards, north of Pretoria, on September 13, has shared his story of terror.

Mathebula, who was saved by brave attorney Mpho Nefuri – who chased down the hijackers until they abandoned the car – says he feared for his life, and wondered if he would ever see his family again.

He struggled to keep his composure, fighting back the panic that threatened to overwhelm him. “This ordeal was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.”

Mathebula, a sales representative, explains that he was taking an order from a client in The Orchards, when a group of men pounced on him.

“They pulled me in and I was forced onto the back seat at gunpoint.”

He explains that one of the hijackers searched him and took his phone and wallet.

“They forced me to give them my banking Pin, then made me open my banking apps and took all [of] my money,” he says.

He believes the suspects followed him from another location.

Mathebula says he was shaking, as this is the second time he has been hijacked.

“They told me to relax, as they would not hurt me if I co-operated.”

A lasting impact

The incident has left him with a deep sense of unease and fear.

“The trauma has made it difficult for me to drive and I am wary of any potential threats.”

He says it is clear that the effects of the incident are far beyond the loss of material possessions, and could have a profound impact on his mental health. He is scared to go see his clients.

“I am constantly on edge, jumping at every noise and looking over my shoulder.”

Despite his emotional scars, Mathebula says he is lucky to have been saved by Nefuri, whose bravery stopped the hijackers in their tracks.

Mathebula says the hijackers fled on foot on Longmore Road, to a place known as ‘the hiding place’.

During Nefuri’s pursuit, recorded on video and shared on social media, shots were fired at her. But she didn’t back down. It was a narrow escape, as the bullets hit her windscreen and cracked the glass.

The brave woman’s heroism tugged at social media users’ heartstrings. Some have labelled her a ‘hero’ and ‘Iron Lady’, as she stood her ground to save Mathebula and his car.

Nefuri says she was not scared. Her goal was to keep Mathebula alive.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi says police are investigating a case of car hijacking and no arrests have yet been made.

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