PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Fuelled by adrenaline, a Belgian volunteer in Plettenberg Bay turned into a modern-day superhero when he took on his two assailants during a robbery in the town.
"Although it might not have been the smartest move, it sometimes helps to defend yourself," said Jonas de Nyn (22) following the incident on Saturday 30 November, during which he was stabbed in the shoulder.
Jonas, who is a volunteer at Born in Africa, a non-profit organisation that provides academic, social and life skills programmes in Plett, explained that he and a friend who was leaving for Cape Town the next day, had just returned to his home in Virginia Street in Plett after a walk on the beach, when two suspects approached him.
"The car we had travelled in was still running with its lights on, right in front of our gate. Suddenly two guys approached us out of nowhere."
De Nyn said one of them asked him for a cigarette. "When I politely explained that I couldn't help him as I'm not a smoker, he pulled out a very large kitchen knife of about 20 to 25cm long."
'They didn't listen'
He tried reasoning with the two informing them that there were police all over town and that his housemates were still awake inside the house. "They didn't listen so I decided to stand between them and my friend. They started pulling my backpack off my back and one tried to get my phone out of my pocket, but I blocked him and he couldn't get his hand in to take it."
De Nyn said he then started shouting to alert anyone in the area to what was happening. "At that moment, the one with the knife stabbed me under my left shoulder."
In the chaos the suspects managed to grab his backpack and take his friend's phone and sunglasses that were in the vehicle and tried to run away.
"At this stage my housemates heard the commotion and phoned for help. I just knew I had to get my wallet back as my credit card was in it and I needed it during my stay in South Africa. That's when I decided to run after them."
The chase took them towards Plettenberg Bay's Main Road and then towards the local taxi rank.
While in pursuit, De Nyn noticed a security company vehicle and stopped it. "The security officer then followed me while I continued to run after the suspects."
De Nyn said at one stage he lost sight of the two but figured they had gone into a nearby field to hide. His instincts were right and he found the first suspect hiding behind a container. "I managed to grab him and push him to the ground while I waited for the security officer's assistance. When he got there I decided to try and find the other suspect."
'I wasn't going to stop running'
He found the second suspect hiding behind a bench. "I heard heavy breathing and followed the sound which led me to the second suspect. He tried to run away, but I followed him and I don't know if he realised I wasn't going to stop running after him, but he stopped in the middle of the road. He pulled out the knife and started waving it around."
Eventually reinforcement showed up and both suspects were arrested.
"We then followed the path of the two fleeing suspects and managed to find all our missing belongings, and the local crime fighters' medical team assisted me with my stab wound. It was amazing as they were there within two minutes of the call for help from my housemates."
Plettenberg Bay police spokesperson Captain Marlene Pieterse confirmed the incident and said both suspects appeared in the Plettenberg Bay Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of aggravated robbery, and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. They remain in custody.
* De Nyn did not want a photograph of himself to go with this article.
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