Panga attacks still unresolved

A previous topic in this column was pondering how the police formulate charges after a crime has been committed.

DEEP CUT: On September 19, panga-wielding robbers cut Andre Adriaan so badly in his arm he required 15 stitches. He has lost feeling in one of his fingers and has a pins and needles sensation in two other fingers

This becomes pertinent again in the case of the second panga attack at Cob Hole on the Kowie River, in which a suspect is now known to police, if not yet identified by the victim.

Readers may remember the injuries suffered by Andre Adriaan and his three friends, who were attacked and robbed by several men wielding knopkieries and pangas while fishing at Cob Hole on September 19.

The incident occurred just 10 days after the first attack there, with the robbers using the same means of wounding and overpowering their victims. It was likely the very same group of robbers.

But in the second incident, the robbers had not counted on one of their victims being armed. While he was being hacked at with a panga, Andre Adriaan managed to draw his firearm and fired four shots at his attackers. He believed he hit at least one of them. Another of the fishermen was hit so hard with a knopkierie that they broke his forearm.

Showing how brazen they were, the robbers returned as the fishermen were attempting to leave, grabbing what they could take. Adriaan fired three more shots, but as he only had eight shots he kept one in case the robbers blocked their way when they left.

He said the attackers had slashed one of the tyres on his car, but he drove on it flat and went straight to the hospital as he was bleeding badly.

Later, TotT heard that an ambulance was seen at Cob Hole that same day, and that it was possibly sent to pick up one of the attackers who had been shot.

However, police said no arrests had been made. They opened a case of aggravated robbery.

It was mystifying therefore, to find out only two weeks ago that police had indeed been called out to a report of an attack at Cob Hole and a man with bullet wounds had been taken to hospital.

As is standard procedure for gunshot victims, police opened a case of attempted murder.

Adriaan delayed opening his own case, but by that time police would have been able to establish a link between the attack he described and the gunshot victim.

TotT had to ask these questions of police – they did not inform us voluntarily.

There is still no arrest, but Adriaan’s friends still have to make statements too. Meanwhile the other attackers are still walking free out there.

– Jon Houzet

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