Durban – A Durban nightclub bouncer who was robbed, shot in the head and left bleeding at the side of the N2 freeway, staggered in darkness for an hour-and-a-half to get to the nearest petrol station where a Good Samaritan finally came to his rescue.
Mike Ngema, 37, who does ad hoc jobs including bouncing to support his wife and two small children, said he had got into a vehicle, a silver Mercedes-Benz, whose driver had posed as a private metered taxi service, at a petrol station in Parlock after he left work at 1am last Monday.
But while sitting in the back seat as the vehicle sped along the N2, he noticed within minutes that the car was dirty inside and he developed a “bad feeling” the “taxi driver” and his passenger were robbers.
“I suspected they were robbers, because God can show you something suspect, but I could do nothing. If I tried to fight them, they were going to shoot me and if I opened the door on the freeway another car could come and knock me,” he said.
“They were speeding and I think they were drunk too. I was very scared. I was thinking about how to get away and I thought let me go with them, maybe God will change their mind,” he said.
“They drove past Makro and then near Westwood Mall the car stopped. They took a gun and turned and shot me in the face and then they opened the door of the car and I fell out on to the ground,” he said.
“One of the guys hit me on the face with the gun and took my money and my cellphone,” he said.
Ngema said the second man then approached him and pointed a 9mm firearm at him.
“I said please don’t kill me just take the gun and go. I’m big but I couldn’t fight people with two guns. His friend got back into the car and shouted to him come on let’s go’,” he said.
“God was by my side because the one guy wanted to shoot me again,” he said.
Ngema lost consciousness and when he woke up he was bleeding profusely from the head. He tried to wave down traffic, but realised it was too dark for drivers to see him. He dragged himself up and managed to stagger some kilometers to the nearest service station in Sherwood.
“I walked for an hour-and-a-half. I was thinking about my children and said God this is for my children, to get money to feed them’ and I said, God if I die today what is going to happen to my children? ’I was crying,” he said.
Ngema said staff at the service station gave him sugar water to drink and called the police but when they had not arrived an hour later a Good Samaritan helped him.
“An Indian man who came to buy bread saw me at the door bleeding and asked what happened and where did I live,” Ngema said.
He said the man, who was tall and thin and appeared to be in his sixties, told him he owned a pharmacy in Sydenham.
He has no idea of the man’s name or which pharmacy he owned.
He offered to take Ngema home, but Ngema instead asked to be dropped at the Dr Yusuf Dadoo (Broad) Street police station to report the incident and call an ambulance.
“He took me to the police station and the police gave me pain tablets and tried to call for the van to take me to the hospital, but when the van came it had to go to another case. The police said I was lucky because there are mjondolos (shacks) all along the area (where he was robbed) and maybe someone could have attacked me again,” he said.
Ngema, still bleeding from the bullet wound near his left eye, said he eventually caught a taxi to Addington Hospital, where a scan revealed the bullet had fortunately not lodged in his head.
“God saved my life. If I was still sitting by the garage bleeding, maybe something else would have happened to me. I was waiting about an hour and it was like God sent that man. He saved my life,” he said.