“Last Friday (8th Jan) I was leaving Tin (Tin Roof) at 4:30am. I got into my car that was parked on the opposite side of Enterprise Road and was plugging in my phone which had died when there was a knock on the window. A man was there, and he asked me for a lift to town. He was black, had a Shona accent, was of average height – just under 6 foot, with a bit of beard, and most noticeably one milky eye – as if there were cataracts there. It was his right eye I remember. I don’t recall much about what he was wearing, except for a black jacket. He was friendly and seemed nice, so I let him in and we set off.
Conversation along the way was fairly limited. To get it going, I spoke in my broken Shona to him, but he only replied in English. Now that I think about it, there were times when his accent slipped a bit, but nothing too noticeable.
I drove him to a road a bit before what used to be the Kebab Centre in Newlands. He directed me to a black electric gate with a broken durawall. Up till the moment I stopped the car, everything had been cordial. But after I said cheers to the man, he didn’t get out. Instead, he pointed at his eye and said “You don’t want to know how I got this,” in a full on West African accent.
It was immediately clear that things had changed. I managed to stay calm. “Ok” I said. “You don’t want to know what I’ve got in my pocket,” he said. “Ok” I replied again. It was then that I noticed that he had already taken my cellphone. “Where’s your money” he said, not shouting, but in a threatening way. I admit straight away that I was now afraid for my life. I sized him up and thought that I could, in a fight, take him on as he wasn’t a big guy. But in the closed space of my car, and with him possibly having a weapon, instead I produced my wallet which had $100 of cash that belonged to my company and $5 of my own. He took the money and my wallet and I asked for it back. He said something like “You’ve been nice, so I’ll give you your particulars, and you’re lucky I’m not taking your car or your life.”
After giving back my wallet, he got out of the car, slid the gate open and disappeared. I left in a hurry, and went the police.
Of course, the man didn’t live there, and the police turned up nothing. He likely waited for me to leave and then slipped away again.
99% of the people that I give lifts to are good people, so I’m not going to stop. But I will be more careful in the future. He was obviously hanging around outside Tin, waiting for a target.
Watch out for such people.”