Armed Robbery, the aftermath…
Homeward bound after work, I was robbed at gunpoint on the 1st March 2015 at 15h45. I lost more than my valuable, sentimental belongings. A part of myself had been violated, my life disrupted and my mental peace shattered. The support from my blogging post was overwhelmingly kind and I felt a measure of faith in humanity. In all fairness to all those who supported me, this post serves to explain the aftermath and legal repercussions of that fateful day…
Seeking closure and being subpoenaed to appear in court, early yesterday, I made my way down to the Durban Magistrates Court which is a tall solid building, sheathed with wide mausoleum black granite. After a series of entrances, I found myself in the court, (think Judge Judy here) and proceeded to the inner sanctum where I waited outside the prosecutor’s rooms to be briefed. My imagination took flight and I could see why, if at wits end, and of desperation, one would open up the windows, step outside on the cantilevered concrete slab and just drop to one’s death.
No surprise, the docket was lost and the wait seemed interminable. Fortunately, the young black petite, female prosecutor, a dynamite force to be reckoned, kept me abreast of the unfolding events at intervals. Finally 4 hours later, I was sworn in for my deposition. The chief complainant, had I not been present, the case would have been thrown out of court and the two criminals who had been incarcerated since that fateful day, would have walked free.
Their Legal Aid claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity. Their version of the events were blatant lies. What was laughable was that they claimed to not understand English, hence the use of the translator who had to repeat everything to them in Zulu. They were fluent in English with their demands during the armed robbery process.
Turns out the gun they had used to threaten me with, was a toy. It looked very real to me. The culprit who escaped with my belongings had been a seasoned criminal/hi-jacker who had been on parole. Of all, he was the most dangerous. Unfortunately, he escaped apprehension and currently almost certainly lurks around, waiting to pounce on some other unsuspecting person.
The case was remanded until the 7th September. Other witnesses are to be called in. If convicted, and they will be, given my positive identification and recollection of the events, they could face at least 15 years imprisonment. Had the other witness obeyed the subpoenaed order and arrived at court, his testimony too would have carried additional weight and their sentence made lengthier.
When I was been robbed, I had to not stare at them for fear of physical harm but I did get my chance to face them, stare them eye to eye; my seething anger and rage made them cower. Months ago, their need for a “quick drug fix” and pre-determined criminal plans wrenched much of me as a person, citizen and human being. Mental reverberations, mild panic, unease and tension, fearing attack again every time became an added part of my life.
My faith was restored in our judicial system. The police officers conducted themselves in an exemplary manner, showing passion and commitment considering their working conditions and salary scale. The administrators were respectful and understanding. I sympathized with the prosecutor for the state, the criminals it seems, have more rights and way too much comfort and ease safely behind bars than civilians do. Sad but true.
Presenting myself in court meant being robbed of a day’s leave, enlisting my husband’s support and a day away from his demanding job, multiple inconveniences, sleepless nights BUT I found closure. My advice to anyone who has lived this sort of criminal violation? No matter what the incident is, seek legal recourse. Maintain contact with the Investigating Officer. Show interest, show up, ensure that justice is served and punishment meted out. As citizens and humans, we have rights too.
Image sourced from guardian.ng