GEORGE NEWS - "I have been given a second chance in life and I'm preparing myself for a new journey." These are the words of provincial traffic officer Janneké Bergman (29), who recently survived a shooting incident in George.
Bergman was shot on 7 August when she went to assist two of her colleagues during an arrest after they pulled over a silver Audi A4 in Beach Road, on the bridge near Stanmar Motors.
While officers were handcuffing a suspect, Bonginkosi Ndevu (28), a fight ensued during which he pulled out a firearm and shot Bergman.
Ndevu, who fled the scene on foot with the handcuffs still around one wrist, was chased by police.
After he opened fire on them, they returned fire and he was shot in his knee and upper arm. Bergman was shot in the knee and left cheek. The bullet that hit her cheek went out through her neck, just above her shoulder. "That morning I feared for my life, but the worst was the fear of leaving my family and my little one," said the mother of a 2-year-old girl.
Bergman, who is currently recovering at home after numerous operations, says she finds it difficult to comprehend what happened to her that day.
"I'm still in shock and I have countless questions as the thoughts and memories keep on racing through my head."
Plans after recovery
Her colleagues and family describe Bergman as a quiet, conscientious person who has a great passion for her work and after her recovery Bergman plans on heading straight back to work. "I still have many goals I want to achieve as a traffic officer and even after this ordeal I still plan on reaching them. This whole experience has changed my perspective on life and how I live it," she said.
According to Bergman she has received countless texts, prayers and messages from family, colleagues and friends and they are still streaming in.
"I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all the employees at Mediclinic George for their assistance and for making my stay as comfortable as possible. To the paramedics of Metro, ER24 and the police officers - thank you for your swift response. I would also like to thank the doctors and nurses who made it their mission to attend to me immediately. A huge thank you to my family, friends and colleagues for their warmth, love, support and well wishes," she said.