Trolley tumble trauma

A Kirstenhof woman is seeking justice after a trolley thrown from the balcony of the Blue Route Mall smashed through her car’s windscreen.

Bonita Hogan said Kirstenhof police had told her the case would not be prosecuted due to a lack of evidence.

Kirstenhof Police spokeswoman Sergeant Deidre Solomon did not respond to an emailed question asking why the case of malicious damage to property had been closed.

Ms Hogan said repairs had cost about R33 000 so far, which was covered by her insurance, but she had to pay the R3 000 excess. More work was needed on the car’s dashboard and upholstery, but she didn’t know how much it would cost.

She is a single-income widow with a 17-year-old daughter at school and a 20-year-old son at university. She uses the metallic blue Chevrolet Spark to travel to work in Bellville and back – a round-trip that usually takes her about three hours. But, her son, Kino, had the car on the day it was damaged. He had been at Blue Route Mall with his girlfriend on Saturday July 1, at 7.30pm, to buy ice cream.

They had gone outside on the ground floor, he said, to where he could see his mom’s car parked under the mall balcony.”Out of nowhere, we saw two trolleys fly through the air from the balcony and land in bushes in the landscaping of the mall. It was insane, and as I was thinking of moving the car some youths took the trolleys away. Then I saw a type of liquid fall from the balcony onto the car, which I’m certain was alcohol,” said Kino.

Earlier, he and his girlfriend had seen the boys throwing bottles from the balcony.

Looking up to the balcony, he saw three boys, each about 17 years old, looking down at him.

Kino said he had heard one of them say,”Let him come up here; there are eight of us and one of him.” Instead, Kino went looking for a security guard.

He had walked almost the length of the mall before spotting one, he said. But the guard did not accompany him outside, where Kino then made a shocking discovery.

“When I saw the car, I thought it was a reflection, but getting closer, I saw the trolley sticking out of the windscreen. Three boys were looking over the balcony, but it was dark, they were in shadows,” he said.

He called the police and then his mom. “It was horrible to see how upset she was,” he said.

When Ms Hogan watched mall security camera footage at the Kirstenhof police station, on Wednesday August 23, she saw youths spit and pour liquid onto her car from the mall balcony.

She then saw them preparing to lift the trolley and throw it over the balcony, but there was no footage of the trolley hitting the car because there are no cameras under the balcony. “The youths did not immediately run from balcony and the mall,” said Ms Hogan.

The footage, she said, had then shown the police arriving at the back of the mall but it appeared that they had not driven around or searched for the perpetrators. Mall security guards had only appeared after the police and three tow trucks had left, she said.

Ms Hogan said it was clear to her that the police and mall security had made no attempt to track down the perpetrators.

Kino said that while the quality of the camera footage was poor, it might still be possible to identify the boys from their body language and the clothes they were wearing.

Blue Route Mall spokeswoman, Wendy Radford confirmed the incident and said CCTV footage had been handed to the police who were investigating. The mall declined to comment further.