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Tuesday, January 27, 2015


On 11th May 1996 (Saturday) morning, several days before attending a citrus conference at Sun City I took a bus, a two hour journey to downtown Johannesburg. At the bus station, a circular  two-storey building (pic), the man at the tuck-shop advised me to keep my camera and watch in the bag. I followed his advice.

From the bus station I walked to the right and got onto a street that lead to a mosque three blocks away where I intended to visit and pray. As I was crossing a short bridge I looked behind and spotted two young blacks stopped in their tracks. I became suspicious and turned turned left on another street where there were more people and perhaps safer. 

Then, all of a sudden, I felt many hands grabbing and almost pulling me down. Several hands were going through the pockets of my shirt and pants. I could not breath properly for a palm was trying to close my mouth. In a state of shock I realised that six or more black youths surrounded me. 

One of the muggers pulled a six-inch knife right between my eyes. Death flashed my mind. Will I see my family again? Why I am doing here? I shouted "Allah hu Akbar" at the top of my voice. At that very instant the muggers released and threw me on the street. I got up and ran on the street shouting Allah hu Akbar all the time. I was feeling exhilarated being alive.

After several attempts I managed to get a taxi that drove me back to the bus station. I felt that the streets were quite empty then. Perhaps people were shying away and dare not to help or be a witness.

At the bus station I met this Indonesian couple and told them what happened. The man gave me his card which I still keep.

I spent the night on a bench in the bus station feeling safe. There were at least two guards on 24 hours going round the building
. I was not hurt and my belongings were safe except for a watch and reading glasses. Morning of next day, I took a bus to SunCity

n.b. A brief of the story was given in an earlier posting "Malay diaspora - Cape Town".

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