A former gangster was rescued from being buried alive in a 3m-deep grave on a local beach by a group of men he says wrongfully accused him of stealing a vehicle.
The Delft man, who would only be identified as “Arab”, 35, said he was at home cooking when a group of men stormed into his flat asking about a stolen Quantum taxi.
“A group of men knocked on the door asking for ‘Rasta’. He used to live with me and the homeowner, ‘Blacks’. I told them Rasta wasn’t there and then they grabbed me by my arms and feet and dragged me into a Quantum taxi,” Arab said.
“They started asking about a stolen Quantum… I knew nothing about this and when I got into the taxi I saw Rasta lying there beaten up, with sand and sea water all over him.” The men kept questioning Arab about the stolen Quantum taxi and he insisted he knew nothing about it, he said.
They then drove to Blikkiesdorp to find “Blacks”. He was also thrown into the vehicle and pressed for information about the stolen taxi.
“The way I see it, Rasta used Blacks and I as a get-away and said we stole the Quantum,” Arab said. “As we drove, I saw them take Baden Powell Drive and realised we were going to the beach. Rasta had sand and water all over him so I started (fearing) what they would do to us.”
He said they had asked Rasta to move out of their house a while ago because he was using drugs and police constantly came to their house. When they arrived at Monwabisi beach, the men gave them candles and spades and told them to start digging their graves. Arab tried to escape, but they pushed him in the hole.
He said the men hit them over their heads with guns and threatened to slit their throats. “They started throwing sand and put stones on my legs and chest to keep me down.”
While Blacks was digging his hole, he spotted a metro police van and called for help. They rushed over and the 15 men fled in all directions, including Rasta.
They then pulled an unconscious Arab out of the hole. He was taken to the Mitchells Plain police station where rescue staff assisted him. He received further treatment at the Mitchells Plain day hospital. Arab said: “I know all of them and I am not scared … because I have nothing to hide, but to think I was almost buried alive for something I didn’t do.”
Police spokesman November Filander said they were investigating three cases of kidnapping and attempted murder. The metro police said Arab was buried close to the shore and the tide was coming in when they found him.
Police have arrested three suspects who will appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
* Anyone with information can contact Detective Constable Welcome Ngoma on 021 954 9000. – Cape Times