at Lynnwood, Pretoria, Pretoria (-26.193820 28.035200)
On 21 March, Paul met a man, “Martin”, through a profile on the Manhunt dating site. They agreed to meet and Paul drove to a house in Lynnwood, Pretoria.
“It was raining and dark and it was situated inside a residential area,” said Paul. He went into the house and met with a 40-something male, who he assumed to be Martin. Paul was shocked, however, when four other men wearing hoodies unexpectedly walked into the room and threatened him with a gun. At this point “Martin” left the room and was not seen again by Paul.
The men took Paul’s keys and smartphone. Matters then escalated when the individuals forced him into a vehicle parked outside at gunpoint and drove him to an apartment block in Sunnyside.
Terrified, he was taken to a flat on the 6th floor, in which a number of people appeared to be living, including a woman and children. He was ordered into a dark room and forced to undress. “They held a gun to my head, going through my backpack, asking for the pin codes of my cards and access code to my phone,” said Paul.
After he gave them the information, one of the men left with his bank cards. He was also forced to make ‘e-Wallet’ transfers to a cellphone number. “They said if I lied they would shoot me,” explained Paul.
Then, another man, who was especially aggressive, came into the room and told Paul to dress and to take his backpack. Paul was returned to his vehicle and, after being threatened with being killed if he spoke to anyone about the incident, was allowed to drive off.
In total, Paul was robbed of R20,000 worth of personal items, including jewelery and his cellphone, as well as over R9,000 in cash, which was transferred from his accounts. Far worse, however, has been the trauma that followed the experience.