January 17, 2021

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AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

Hijacking alert: New ‘hot-spot region’ identified by SAPS

2 min read

The South Africa Police Service (SAPS) has moved to warn motorists of a dangerous spike in hijacking incidents within one of South Africa’s nine provinces – and a well-populated district in particular is also on high alert.

SAPS warn drivers about new ‘hijacking hot-spot’

Motorists in North West have been urged to ‘exercise caution’ when operating their vehicles going forward. A spate of hijackings have occurred in several regional locations, with the Bonjanala Platinum District serving as the worst-affected.

Those travelling by car have been told to remain vigilant whenever they come to a stop near the roadside – or if they get asked to pull over by other motorists. Carjackers have been using these fleeting opportunities to strike while their victims are off-guard. On Thursday, SAPS listed several incidents in the past 10 days which have piqued their attention.

Notable North West hijacking incidents in November

  • Tlhabane: A 40-year-old allegedly stopped to pick up a person in Mokgethi Street. He was threatened with a firearm and instructed to get back inside the car. He managed to escape by running away and two suspects drove off in his VW Polo.
  • Swartruggens: A bakkie driver was urged to pull into the yellow lane to allow a Hyundai to overtake. However, it’s alleged one of the occupants of the Hyundai pointed him with a firearm and instructed him to stop. The suspects locked the victim inside the canopy of his Nissan bakkie before fleeing the scene. The victim managed to break the rear window to escape.
  • Bothaville: One driver picked up several hitch-hikers – only to be confronted by a gang in a black VW. The men then took out knives and threatened to stab him. He and his lady friend were tied up and robbed of cash, a cellphone, and their vehicle.

SAPS statement on Bojanala Platinum District

SAPS advise motorists that, if they are worried about being pulled over either by authorities or less official figures, they must use their hazards and drive to a police station:

“Motorists travelling in the North West, especially in the Bojanala Platinum District are urged to exercise caution when stopping next to the road or when ordered to stop by other motorists as they could be potential hijackers. This is after a few incidents were recently reported in which vehicles were hijacked by unknown suspects.”

“People stopping to relieve themselves have also been targeted. Motorists are requested to exercise caution when stopped by unknown persons and to report such incidents to the nearest police station. If stopped by Police of Traffic officials and you feel unsafe/threatened, put on your hazard lights and slowly drive to the nearest police station.”