In a bizarre string of violent events – which even has police investigators scratching their heads – four people were arrested after the intended sale of a Mercedes-Benz unravelled when it turned into an alleged hijacking in Port Elizabeth last week.
Police believe the supposed car buyer, who gave his name as Oscar, tried to hijack Firdous Carloo, 30, who was selling her 2002 Mercedes- Benz CLK – which she had advertised on a national advertising website – for R85 000.
However, unbeknown to the alleged hijacker, Firdous’s father, armed with a gun, was hiding in the boot of the car when the rendezvous to make the sale took place at the Hobie Beach car park in Summerstrand.
Before Monday afternoon’s meeting at Hobie Beach, an armed Mogomat hid in the boot of the Mercedes as a security measure.
Questioned by police about this, he claimed he had a strange feeling about the imminent deal.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said Firdous and Heita met at the car park and went for a test drive.
“The buyer [Heita] was supposedly happy with the vehicle and wanted to arrange a cash payment,” Naidu said.
“According to [Firdous’s] statement, he [Heita] phoned someone while in the passenger seat and arranged to meet them at the King’s Court car park in Buffelsfontein Road for payment [for the car].”
She said while they were driving in Beach Road, Heita told Firdous he wanted to pay in Namibian dollars, which she declined, saying she wanted payment in rands. It was then that Heita allegedly drew a knife and threatened Firdous.
Naidu said Firdous’s father, who was still in the boot of the car, heard what was happening, pushed the back seats out and climbed into the car.
“He confronted the passenger and this led to a scuffle,” she said.
The car pulled over on Beach Road near Kings Beach and, during the scuffle, Ibrahim and Maahir arrived in a BMW. It is believed they were following the car.
“The supposed buyer was severely assaulted during the scuffle and a passing taxi [driver] pulled over to stop the fight,” Naidu said.
“The group chased the taxi driver down the road, with the father allegedly firing two shots at him.
According to Naidu, the group were en route to the Bethelsdorp police station when they spotted a police vehicle and reported the incident.
While the knife has been recovered, the firearm has not been found yet.
Ibrahim and Maahir appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday on a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for their alleged part in assaulting Heita.
The case has been postponed to April 3 for further investigation.