HIGHWAY STONING ATTACK
Student latest victim of N2 rock-throwing incident on Cape Town’s ‘Hell Run’
‘Everything happened very quickly,’ said a 21-year-old student, describing what happened while she was driving to Cape Town International Airport.
A 21-year-old student from Inscape in Stellenbosch, Lucilla Vlok, had a brush with death while driving to Cape Town International Airport to pick up a friend on the afternoon of 22 July.
“I was driving on the N2 highway in the shoulder lane that leads to the airport when I noticed a man walking very slowly and looking at each car that passed. When I was alongside him, I heard a loud bang against the window,” she told Daily Maverick.
The window was shattered. It was just before 1pm.
She continued driving. In the rear-view mirror, she noticed there was blood on her chin.
“Everything happened very quickly … all I can remember is he had sneakers on, a long shirt and short pants.”
The attack happened around 3km from the airport on a notorious stretch of highway known as “Hell Run”.
“I was in pain but I managed to drive to the airport and pull into the parking lot. I then phoned my father. While telling him what had happened, I decided to press my car’s hooter because I felt like I was on the verge of passing out.”
A passerby came to her assistance and, shortly after, the friend she was picking up arrived and she was taken to the airport’s medical centre.
Later, she received treatment for a fractured jaw, including stitches, at Mediclinic Stellenbosch.
She reported the incident to Stellenbosch police on Monday.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie told Daily Maverick on Thursday that no arrests had been made.
“However, high-density patrols and visibility have been increased in the area to ensure the safety of all.”
Static deployments had been established at strategic points along the highways, he said.
“This visibility is reinforced through the deployment of integrated forces such as law enforcement and traffic.”
There have been several incidents of stone-throwing on the N2 in recent months.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Husband desperate for justice after stone hurled by robbers kills academic en route to CT International Airport
On 17 April, 69-year-old Leonie van der Westhuizen suffered a cardiac arrest and died two days after a rock thrown at her car hit her in the head. She was travelling along another route to the airport with her husband at the time.
This week, the couple’s son, Jaco Nuuste, expressed frustration with what he said was a lack of interest in investigating the attack on his parents’ car and trying to find the perpetrator.
“I’ve asked them so many times over the last four months to check the video footage from the building next to the traffic lights. But nothing has happened. They haven’t even sent anyone to interview my father.”
Police confirmed on Thursday no arrests had been made in the Van Der Westhuizen incident.
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Asked what was being done to ensure the safety of motorists on the N2, Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said: “We utilise the various CCTV networks to help monitor known hotspots and to help redirect our resources where potential threats are identified.
“Investigators from our investigative unit are also conducting tracking and tracing operations to ensure we can assist SAPS with making meaningful arrests.”
Smith added: “Where possible, our enforcement agencies will conduct patrols of hotspot areas, but due to the many demands on our services, it is not possible to maintain a continuous static presence at any one particular spot.” DM
This article was amended on Friday at 9.15am to correct the campus affiliation of the student, who is studying at Inscape, not Stellenbosch University. Daily Maverick apologises for the mixup.