South Africa: Attacked With an Axe - the Pain, the Indignity, the Choices, the Consequences... and the Inadequate Police Service


It was my first full day back at the office after the Christmas holidays. I left the office, had dinner with a colleague from National Treasury at Capital Craft in Pretoria, and began driving home. I had taken the Rivonia exit off the N1 in Johannesburg when a man wearing all black, with his face fully covered with a ski mask, swung an axe into my car repeatedly.

The impact of the glass shattering all over me left my arms and legs bloody and bruised. He took off with some of my belongings, including my laptop, passport, driver's licence and credit cards. I was now in a foreign country without identification or access to my bank accounts.

I'm a 28-year-old American female. I live alone. And I do the daily commute from Johannesburg to Pretoria, where my office is. The odds are not in my favour. In 2019, South Africa was named the single most dangerous country in the world for women to visit and travel in alone in the Women's Danger Index. Data from the World Economic Forum, World Health Organisation and UN were used to score each country across eight categories, with two -- how safe it was...

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