What should have been a joyous build-up to their wedding day turned into a traumatic ordeal for a Botha’s Hill, KZN, couple who lost R45,000 worth of items when they were robbed in Pinetown on 6 April.
Apart from enduring the trauma, the couple, Brandon Reddy and Sarah Soobramaney, also had their cellphones, jewellery, bank cards, IDs, cash and the groom’s wedding ring stolen.
Speaking to Highway Mail, Reddy said: “Due to the high crime rate in the area, we try to avoid Pinetown at all cost unless we need to attend to something important.”
However, the incident happened inside a gated complex with security guards.
“We thought these mugging incidents took place in the streets and at intersections, but I guess the crime in Pinetown has reached another level,” said Reddy.
Recalling their horrific ordeal, Reddy said it was raining heavily on the day of the incident.
“We took our rings to a jeweller on Old Main Road to adjust.”
He said before going to him, they went to another shop to look for some items and, while walking, they suddenly noticed they were surrounded by six men.
“We did not even see them coming as we were looking down to balance our steps as the ground was very wet,” he said.
Soobramaney said there were three men around her searching for any items.
“Next thing I knew my fiancé was on the floor and the other three robbers were trying to get his phone from the pockets. I kept screaming and no one came to our aid,” she said.
Reddy, who was fighting off his attackers, said the thugs eventually took out their knives and he was forced to surrender.
They said this incident has caused their anxiety to spike.
“When things like this happen, you become paranoid. I was really scared. I really thought I was going to lose him,” said Soobramaney.
The lovebirds, who have been dating for five years, said this was their first traumatic experience.
“On the day we were mugged, we were meant to be registered. We have been looking forward to our big day but this has set us back.
“We are going to get past it and enjoy our wedding day, even though my husband does not have a ring anymore,” said Soobramaney.
Speaking about their love journey, the couple said they met through a church ministry as they are both involved in community outreach programmes.
“We work a lot with feeding schemes and are involved in distributing hampers to the less privileged.”
They added that they were grateful they were still alive and escaped with just a few bruises.
“We can buy another ring after the wedding, but for now we appeal to authorities to do something about the crime in the Pinetown area,” said Reddy.
Pinetown Cluster communications officer Capt Bongumusa Manqele confirmed the incident and said a case of robbery had been opened at the station.
“Police are still investigating and no one has been arrested as yet,” he said.
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