Cape Town -
She may not consider herself a heroine, but the truck drivers who Carolynne Franklin saved from harm during the recent transport strike violence say it was her brave intervention which caused their attackers to flee.
On Friday truck driver Elmaco Fabian described how he and his assistant Boesak Booysen were being kicked by their attackers on Thursday last week, when Franklin pulled up and began shouting.
The three were reunited on Friday afternoon at the Pick n Pay head office in Kenilworth, when Franklin was honoured with a bravery award, and an award from LeadSA.
The two men, who escaped serious injury, are employees of Lieben Logistics, Pick n Pay’s trucking company.
Fabian said he and Booysen had tried to run from the scene, but their attackers caught them and started kicking them.
“Then I just heard this lady shout and then the guys ran away. We then got in the lady’s car and she gave us water and we waited for the police,” he said.
Franklin, a curtain designer from Kirstenhof, said she was driving on Baden Powell Drive when she saw the two being chased by three men.
I was shocked when I saw the three men catch up to them, and then they started beating them up. I then saw the Pick n Pay truck on the side of the road, and that the truck’s cab was on fire.
“That’s when I knew the incident was connected to the truck strike,” she said.
Franklin admits that she nearly joined the many other cars that just drove away from the scene.
But she knew she had to stop.
I honestly thought to myself that I cannot just drive away from this, and that I had to do something to stop people from getting hurt. So I pulled my car over, grabbed my cellphone and ran out in the road towards them.
“While I was running I remember thinking that I was going to use my phone to hit the guys on their heads or something, but I just ran and shouted.”
When the attackers saw her, they ran to another car and sped off.
Fabian said the attack began after a tyre on their truck burst, leaving them stranded for about 20 minutes.
Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Pick n Pay’s transformation director, said she hoped people would read the story and be inspired “if they find themselves in a similar position”.
Franklin remained humble, saying she saw herself not as a heroine, but simply as someone who helped two people in need.