'Paralysed by fear': Victims of Midrand robbery find support on social media

Actor Clint Brink was among the customers who fell victim to armed robbers at a Midrand petrol station on New Year's Day.
Actor Clint Brink was among the customers who fell victim to armed robbers at a Midrand petrol station on New Year's Day.
Image: Via Clint Brink's Instagram

A beautician and an actor were among the victims of a robbery at an Engen garage in Midrand on Tuesday evening. Sympathy and advice have streamed in on social media.

"I am paralysed by fear and not sure how I will cope going forward. I wish criminals knew the exact impact of their actions on their victims, the trauma we are left with."

These are the words of a Johannesburg beauty therapist who is among numerous South Africans who are sharing their stories of being caught up in one of SA’s many random violent crimes.

Beautician @blueviolettt was one of the victims of a recent robbery that took place at the Engen garage at Midway Mews in Midrand. She said it occurred at about 8.50pm on Tuesday, the first day of the new year.

“That was the longest ±5 min of my life. We had no control of what could potentially happen to us,” she tweeted. “At one point the one guy shouted at me to get off the floor so that people outside wouldn’t notice what was happening inside the store ... I am so traumatised.”

Actor Clint Brink was also caught up in the same robbery. He revealed on his Twitter account on Wednesday: “So 2019 kicked off with a bang. My wife and I and a few patrons at Woolworths/Engen in Midrand just got help up at gunpoint by four men.” 

He said two of the robbers walked behind the counter of the food store, pulled out a gun and told the cashiers to empty the registers. The other two men held up customers, demanding their phones and wallets.

This was the second robbery at the garage in a matter of days.

On Christmas Eve, at a similar time, Moya Mabitsi‏ shared this: “Just witnessed a robbery @Engen MidwayMews Midrand. Walked in and a group of guys were taking cellphones from customers and demanding cash from cashiers. We all had to wait inside the store and remain calm. It’s over now but we are shook.”

“I am still in shock. It’s unbelievable how criminals feel so entitled to the belongings of others,” continued @blueviolettt. “They were so brazen, both of them were unmasked.

“Sick to my stomach of the high rate of crime in this country!”

Her full account of the dramatic event can be viewed here:

Sympathy and advice for the victims have streamed in on social media.

"Askies. The trauma from experiencing what eventually is classified as ‘pretty crimes’ is understated and clearly not understood. Maddening too. I wish you speedy healing. Stay hopeful,” said @masangopm. 

“Sad day. Sad that we have to live like this. Be strong,” wrote @grimmsdottr

“Mzansi is a traumatised nation with the rampant levels of serious & violent crime. I hope you are blessed with a full & complete recovery. Worldly goods can be replaced or managed without - it’s the feeling of safety previously taken for granted that’s more difficult to recover,” said @ReardonSandra.

“Petrol station owners and the franchisers need to come up with a plan to halt this increase in crime, working with SAPS of course,” said @arinao_m, while @monyebodisally commented: “I'm sorry for what happened to you, crime in SA is national crisis.”

"Our families aren't safe anywhere. This is unacceptable," shared @Sooperniz.

One commentator said she had been caught up in a similar crime three times. @Feline101Noooooo posted: "So sorry ... can relate to those '5 minutes'. Been in that situation x 3."


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