A South African mother is being hailed as a hero after video surfaced of her thwarting a carjacking by ramming the vehicle of her armed assailants.
The 42-year-old woman from Alberton, a suburb of Johannesburg, was pulling into her driveway with her teenage daughter when a carload of men swarmed them, brandishing guns.
“I was ready to open the boot to my car, when I saw the white car behind us,” the woman told News24, speaking on condition of anonymity as she fears her attackers could return for revenge.
“I told my daughter, ‘Don’t get out, just close your door.’ When I saw the men approaching us, and I saw their guns, I told her, ‘Here comes trouble.'”
“I kept talking to her and I even turned the radio up, so she wouldn’t hear the hammering of the gun against the window or their shouting,” she said. “Those seconds felt like an eternity.”
The woman hit a panic button to summon private security, but as the situation quickly became more tense, she decided to act, throwing her Jeep Cherokee in reverse and ramming into the gang’s car.
“Before I realized it, the car was in reverse,” she said. “I thought if I could only ram them past the gate, we could close it behind us.”
The hijackers piled into their vehicle and were attempting to make a getaway when the woman delivered a series of decisive strikes, forcing the men to abandon their car and flee on foot.
“When I saw the video footage for the first time the following day, that’s when I realized what I had done,” the woman said.
Police reportedly arrested five suspects later in nearby Pretoria, where they were preparing to execute a similar attack.
After further investigation, it was determined the guns used in the failed carjacking were real.
News24 has released footage from another carjacking that occurred shortly after — this one successful, as a family was blitzed in front of their Johannesburg home by thieves who confiscated jewelry and the family’s vehicle while the mother unloaded her children at gunpoint.
Disturbingly, the family says a private security guard, who can be seen in the surveillance footage, disappeared at the moment the attack unfolded.
South Africa’s police minister recently warned the country is bordering on a “war zone,” citing a rapidly rising murder rate that currently stands at 57 per day.
“South Africans must not take it as a norm that they can be hijacked, robbed and killed every day,” he said. “We have to pick up the ball and change the situation for the better.”
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst