Woman left terrified after being robbed while sleeping at popular Durban lodge

robbery at Sibaya Lodge

A Durban woman has shared the horrific ordeal she and her family suffered while booked in at a local lodge when they were robbed of their personal belongings.

Nazir Vardan shared her ordeal on Facebook where she claims that on 25 September 2017 while booked in at Sun International Sibaya Lodge she was robbed of her belongings when robbers raided her room.

She said in her post:
“On Monday morning at around 03h00, my mum was awakened by a beeping sound coming from the tv that’s when she was confronted by a very tall male intruder in our bedroom. He had a huge, shoulder length wig on as disguise, it was horrific. My mum shouted my name with fear and panic, I got up and began to scream non stop.

At this stage he had already unplugged all the cables and cords for the tv but was struggling to take it out because it was mounted. He switched off the lights so we were unable to see much but the bathroom light was on and I was sitting upright on the bed so I was able to see most of him as he was moving around. His silence was deadly.

In our hearts and minds we believed he was going to kill us on his way out. We were screaming and shouting for help but because of the sound proof walls nobody could hear us. My sons cry for help will haunt me forever. He left through the patio and entered through there as well. There were 2 of them, one inside our room with us and one at the door. Despite our screaming, he was not alarmed at all, he didn’t get scared, he didn’t get nervous, he just continued at an abnormal slow pace, this shows he was quite clued up with the surroundings and the rooms as well because he knew exactly where the light switch was, he also knew how to open a locked patio door.

As soon as he exited the room we ran out the main door through the corridors shouting for help. In the lift we also pressed the alarm but it did not work. We got to reception and nobody was there. After a few minutes the receptionist showed up from a back office, then the ONLY FEMALE security for the hotel walked in from the corridors where the rooms are.

We were hysterical. I was shouting for her to radio the guards at the boom gates to close off the entrance which they did not do. At this stage the guards were insisting they must have come through the bush this was when we found out that the entire Sibaya is not cordoned off at all, no fence or wall, nothing! The camera footage showed the two criminals getting away through the car park and main entrance. This proved that while I was standing outside screaming for help, the criminals were still in the car park.

They could have been apprehended but there was not sufficient guards on duty.

One of the guards that has a security dog and was supposed to be patrolling outside the hotel conveniently went to the loo at the time of the incident and put the dog in the cage.

While I was screaming for help outside the hotel entrance there were a few vehicles parked at the boom gates, we asked the guard to check this out and they just calmly responded that it’s transport fetching the casino and restaurant staff that had just knocked off. It was only after the guards escorted us back to our room that we saw all our belongings besides clothing were taken. Cellphones, tablets, ID document, bank cards, handbags, cash etc.

He even had time to put on my leather jacket. All this was done while we were asleep. The thought of them in the room with us watching us sleep the whole time is absolutely terrifying. The light switch that he switched off was right next to my sons head where he was sleeping, and that gives me goosebumps every time I think of it. The Durban North police were called in immediately. An investigation was done and statements were taken. The trauma unit was also called in and we were given trauma counseling the same day.

To date the Sun International Lodge has made no contact with us and has not been taking our calls. We also discovered that the General Manager was only notified 3 days later about the incident. The CEO and PRO were also not informed to date. The Security Manager of Sibaya was very empathising in front of the Police and up until we checked out that day but since then the only response we received from him was that they will not be taking any responsibility for this horrific ordeal that took place.

He has been extremely negative and harsh and refuses to take our calls. We are left at a total loss, not only for all our valuables and documents, cash and material items but also medical bills and a lifetime memory of this painful experience. The post trauma has been extremely difficult and we are still coming to terms with it. It’s sad that an Internationally established company does not care about our safety and security and value for our lives at all. They would have probably only reacted if their tv was taken or if housekeeping found our bodies the next morning. At the perilous times we are living in, you don’t hear success stories of survival after these kind of robberies. We are so grateful and thankful to God for his protection and the fact that we are still alive. #Room1052”

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