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Terror on Vanguard Drive

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Terror on Vanguard Drive

by Adri-Ann Peters
26 Jun 2008
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

NEARLY two months after a violent attack on her family, Kensington resident Fatima Mohamed (31) is still shaken by the ordeal.

Despite a pending court case, the mother of two talks candidly about Friday 16 May, when her perception of the world and those living in it changed.

Mohamed and her husband Ilyas (36), together with their two sons and two nephews, were travelling along Voortrekker Road shortly after 20:00.

"We were going to meet our friends at Canal Walk. We were to see a movie that night," she says.

As her husband continued driving along Main Road, before bringing his bakkie to a halt at the Vanguard Drive intersection, he noticed another bakkie travelling ahead of their car.

"My husband tried to pass them, but they wouldn't let him overtake. They kept swerving between lanes. When we reached the robot at the intersection, we pulled up next to their car and my husband shouted at them through his window, asking if they were crazy to drive so badly."

Fatima says within seconds of her husband shouting at them, another bakkie pulled up in the lane next to theirs.

The driver, who she says was an older white man, positioned his vehicle in such a way as to stop the Mohamed family from proceeding past the robot into Vanguard Drive.

"The driver who my husband shouted at got out of the car and I told him to rather just leave them alone."

But Fatima says the man in the bakkie stormed towards Ilyas and pinned him with the door, even before he was able to get out of the vehicle.

She says the older man who had been driving the other bakkie appeared to be acquainted with the driver because he also walked towards Ilyas.

"When they started hitting my husband on the head, I got out of the car to try push them away.

"But the older man kept hitting me in my face. I must have got up three times, until he eventually pushed me down on the bonnet and choked me," she says.

During this time Fatima noticed that the children in the back of the bakkie, the youngest of whom was seven years old, were hysterical.

"I saw my children and how they were reacting and left the men alone to go to them."

Fatima says the man who had throttled her noticed that she had left. After fetching a pick-axe that was stored in his vehicle, he approached her as she was talking to her children.

"I asked him why he was reacting in this way, considering that he is an adult. I would never have expected him to actually hit me with the axe," she says.

Fatima suffered a hand injury after the man swung the pick-axe at her. Angered by the man's assault on his mother, Saswaan (14) jumped out of his father's bakkie and tried to hit his mother's attacker, Fatima says.

"He threw my son to the ground, but I think he must have realised that it was a child he was attacking and he left." While the family received counselling after the ordeal, Fatima says it has left her scarred and fearful.

"I don't trust anyone, really because I feel this attack was racially-motivated.

"Every time I drive past that spot where it happened, which is basically every day, I can't help but remember what happened. All I want to know is why they had to react in that way. It was just so unnecessary," she says.

Superintendent Vernon Vlok, spokesperson at the Goodwood police station, said two men were arrested on the night of the incident.

The 26- and 47-year old Brooklyn residents each face a charge of assault to do grievous bodily harm.

A third suspect, who faces a charge of drunken driving in connection with the case, has yet to be found. They are to appear in court on 27 June.

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