Bakkie plunges into Durban harbour

Police divers have recovered the body of a woman after the bakkie she and her husband were travelling in plunged into the Durban harbour on Wednesday night after an apparent hijacking. Paramedics said the 31-year-old woman had sustained about 12 stab wounds.

The vehicle crashed through a boom and plunged into the water near the sugar terminal around 7.30pm.
The crew of the bulk carrier African Robin at anchor nearby threw the man a life ring when he surfaced.

The third officer on the vessel, Jenifer Jordan, told a South African Press Association reporter: “We pulled him out on to the jetty. He was just shouting his wife’s in the car with the robber.”

A security guard manning the boom said: “He was coming so fast, he was coming so fast, I waved him down, he didn’t stop and just went straight into the water.”

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Inspector Michael Read said the man had told police that he and his wife had earlier been hijacked by two men brandishing knives on Durban’s Victoria Embankment.

Apparently one of the alleged hijackers climbed into the passenger side of the bakkie, the other into the back.

Read said the man claimed that the hijacker in the loading box jumped out of the moving vehicle moments before it went off the wharf into the water.

Police divers found the woman’s body in the cab of the bakkie. The body of the suspected hijacker was not found in the vehicle after it was hoisted out of the water using a crane on the African Robin.

The traumatised 37-year-old man was taken to hospital. After the woman’s body was loaded into the mortuary van, her family arrived at the scene. They were too distraught to talk to the media.

The couple’s names would be released at a later stage. Read said a case of hijacking was being investigated and an inquest docket had been opened. - Sapa

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