Claremont teenagers survive violent attack

From left, Joshua Rademeyer, Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch member Elmarie Raubenheimer and Michael Long in front of Claremont police station where they reported their case.

Two teenagers walking home from school were left battered, bruised and bleeding after escaping a knife-wielding attacker in Claremont last Friday.

Rondebosch Boys High School pupils Michael Long and Joshua Rademeyer, both 15, were walking down Water Street, after 1.30pm, when a white car stopped beside them at the Heatherton Road intersection.

Joshua’s mother, Cecelia Rademeyer, says one of the four men in the car got out to accost and shout at the boys.

“He ran past Joshua, who was pushing his bike, and proceeded to attack Michael with what appeared to be a knife, in the process attempting to take Michael’s mobile phone, unsuccessfully,” she said.

Joshua left his bike and tried to punch and draw the attacker off Michael. The man grabbed Joshua’s backpack, and the two boys got away.

Bleeding from stab wounds, they flagged down motorist Bronwyn van Rensburg in Water Street and asked her to take them to the nearest hospital. “Michael, in particular, was bleeding profusely from his wounds,” Ms Rademeyer said.

The boys were treated at Kingsbury Hospital’s trauma unit. Michael had two stab wounds to the left side of his chest, one to his left arm, a cut across his forehead and three scalp wounds, and Joshua had a cut to his upper right arm, said Ms Rademeyer.

Both boys returned to school on Tuesday, but Michael’s mother, Hendrika Long, picked him up early as he was feeling slightly lethargic. “The school was monitoring his well-being and is helping him with counselling,” she said.

Michael usually took a different route but on that day he had walked home with Joshua to visit at his home, Ms Long said.

Ms Rademeyer said Joshua had also had counselling at school, but his arm was in a sling and he would be unable to use it for two months.

Claremont police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Marnus Fourie said they were investigating. The attacker had taken Joshua’s bike while the white car with the other three men in it had driven off.

“In the statement, the boys indicated that the suspect could have been under some form of narcotics,” he said.

Both parents thanked Elmarie Raubenheimer, from Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch, for helping them file a police report, and Ms Van Rensburg for taking the boys to hospital.

“This incident doesn’t only affect the boys involved but their siblings, parents, school friends, neighbours and the whole community,” Ms Raubenheimer said.

The watch advises people not to walk alone, to use busy roads, avoid talking or listening to music on their phones and to run to the nearest car or house for help.

Ms Van Rensburg declined to comment.

Joshua Rademeyer, left, and Michael Long, after leaving Kingsbury Hospital.