June 7 2011
Myhendran Naidoo, who was assaulted and shot, shows where a bullet grazed his skull, right. His father, Gono Naidoo, rescued him from gunmen allegedly linked to drug dealers in Laudium.
A Pretoria father’s desperate lunge saved his son from certain death when a gunman, who is the alleged henchman of a suspected drug gang, opened fire on the young man as he tried to execute him.
Myhendran Naidoo is believed to have accidentally been caught up in a suspected turf war in Laudium while driving home from his girlfriend’s house on Sunday night.
Naidoo and his cousin, Mohamed Naidoo, had just dropped off their girlfriends in Primrose Street when they were attacked. The gunman, along with several cronies, attacked the cousins moments after the two stopped when they were confronted.
Demanding to know why they had been stopped, Myhendran was beaten to the ground. One of his three attackers then grabbed a brick and started beating him in the face.
His terrified cousin phoned Myhendran’s father, Gono, who ran from his nearby house to help his son.
“As I got there I saw a man holding a gun to my son’s head. I just prayed and prayed as I ran. I ran as fast as I could, screaming at the man to leave my son alone.
“The man pushed the gun harder into my son’s head. I could see that he was going to shoot, so I dived and grabbed him.
“Everything was a blur. As I grabbed him I heard the gun go off. There was so much blood.
“I thought that Myhendran was dead, but I just pulled and pulled until we were behind a house,” he said, describing how the men opened fire on them as they fled.
Gono Naidoo, speaking for his son who was unable to talk because of his injuries, said had he not jumped for his son and grabbed him he would have been killed.
“It was that close. The bullet tore through his skin but thankfully did not do much damage. The doctor said if it had been a millimetre closer Myhendran would be dead.”
The family had no idea why the two cousins had been attacked.
“All we know is that they were driving home when someone began swearing at them.
“When they stopped all hell broke loose,” said Naidoo.
Describing the attack, Mohamed Naidoo said they were driving down Primrose Street when someone began screaming at them.
“As we stopped to find out what was happening the man carried on yelling at us. When we got out of the car the guy along with another man attacked us and beat Myhendran to the ground.
“They would not stop. They beat him with a brick and bottles. Then one of them pulled out a gun and started dragging Myhendran towards his house.
“I was screaming at them, but there was nothing I could do. I phoned Myhendran’s dad and when he came another man ran out from another house and started shooting at us.
“I dropped to the ground and started crawling away. When I looked back I saw a man standing over Myhendran with a gun to his head.
“It was terrifying. We had no idea what was happening or why they were attacking us,” he said.
Gono Naidoo said they believed the attack was linked to gangs involved in drugs.
“Although police have caught three of those who attacked our children, which we are grateful for, crime, especially drug abuse, is out of control in Laudium.
“This is not the first time something like this has happened.
“If something is not done soon to stop it those who have been arrested will be replaced by more thugs who will continue to kill our children,” he said.
Police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Wanda Olivier said three people had been arrested in connection with the shooting and would appear in court soon on charges of attempted murder.
Police arrested the suspects soon after the shooting.
“Police were on patrol in the area when they heard a gunshot. When they went to investigate they found a man lying bleeding on the ground.
“Following up on information they tracked down the suspects.”