Thieves put gun to Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga’s head
During the ordeal early on Monday, Sindisiwe Chikunga said one of the masked attackers pointed a gun at her head.
According to her, they stole laptops, a phone, and weapons from her bodyguards.
Car-hijackings, kidnappings, and smash-and-grabs are common crimes in South Africa.
It is very unusual for a government minister travelling with armed bodyguards to be robbed.
The whole experience was traumatizing for Ms Chikunga, she told MPs.
On Monday, at 3:30 local time, her bodyguards – or “protectors” – jumped out of the car south of Johannesburg to replace a burst tyre.
When the robbers approached, they forced the bodyguards to the ground and opened the car door.
Ms Chikunga said they pointed a gun at her head and ordered her to leave.
She explained that she did not have any cash on her, so they demanded money. After searching the vehicle, they took what they could find. In addition to the guns, the robbers also tried to take the minister’s ring, but she told them: “This is the only thing I have between my late husband and myself.”
During one point, the minister began to pray, but was told to remain silent.
In her conclusion, Ms Chikunga told parliamentarians, “We are fine, we are healthy, we are alive. It was a horrible experience… but God had mercy on us.”