NELSPRUIT – Quick thinking by a 21-year-old woman saved her life and strategically abandoned her vehicle with alleged hijackers. This was after she pretended to be pressed and had to respond to the call of nature. She then got a chance to flee from her assailants. The incident occurred in Lydenburg on Wednesday, 09 November 2022.
It is alleged that three suspects who were driving in a Nissan NP200 bumped into a Toyota Fortuner from the back. This was the suspects’ modus operandi as they allegedly faked the accident in order to gain her attention and be in a position to hijack her. Thereafter, both drivers had to stop and assess the damages. They then all agreed to proceed to the Police Station to report the accident. Two of the occupants from the Nissan opted to get into the Fortuner, pretending not to trust her. Along the way, the woman was pointed with a firearm and ordered to take a different direction from the road leading to the Police Station. The woman had to think quickly and upon noticing a filling station ahead, she pleaded with them to allow her to use a bathroom and the alleged hijackers gave her permission.
Immediately after she alighted from the vehicle, she drew attention of community members around.
As a result, one suspect alighted from the vehicle and attemted to flee from angry community members. Meanwhile the other suspect jumped into the driver’s seat and sped off in the vehicle (Fortuner). The other suspect who has managed to flee on foot was cornered by community members and he sustained some injuries during his capture before alerting the police.
When the arrest was executed, a firearm was found in his possession and it was confiscated for further investigation. He was taken to hospital for medical attention.
Police and community members mobilised and started looking for the hijacked vehicle. Information surfaced that it was heading towards Bapsfontein. Community members in the area spotted and intercepted it where they managed to take it from the alleged hijacker. During his capture it is alleged that he was assaulted. However on police’s arrival, the suspect was rescued and on his way to hospital, he reportedly succumbed to the injuries.
The NP200 was also spotted by members of the police from Lydenburg K9 Unit on one of the dirt roads leading to one of the farms. The suspect was arrested.
The investigation thus far indicates that the NP200 which was recovered was fitted with false registration number plates. The vehicle was in fact reported stolen in Alberton, Gauteng in October 2022. It was further established that the suspects are from Katlehong, Ekurhuleni in Gauteng Province.
The two suspects aged 25 and 33 were charged for possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles and could be linked to a number of hijackings including the one being alluded to as well as the incident in which the Nissan NP200 was stolen. The two are expected to appear at the Mashishing Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 11 November 2022. They will also have to answer to charges in relation to illegal possession of firearm. Police cannot rule out possibilities of adding other charges pending investigation.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney has welcomed the arrest and recovery of the two vehicles however the General urged members of the public to refrain from taking the law into their own hands but to rather leave suspects to be dealt with by the law.
Source: South African Police Service