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Rising spate of car hijackings a concern in Nkomazi

The Nkomazi Local Municipality’s spokesperson, Cyril Ripinga, said these crimes require everyone in the community to join hands to fight against it.

Over the past few months, the community has witnessed an unprecedented high rate of violent crimes, especially car hijackings. Some community members have raised their concerns, saying they fear falling victim to this situation.

The Nkomazi Local Municipality’s (NLM) spokesperson, Cyril Ripinga, said this matter has resulted in a number of people losing their lives due to these unparalleled hijackings. He told the newspaper that they have noted that Toyota SUVs and 4×4 bakkies are the most sought-after vehicles by these criminals.

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“As a municipality, we are concerned about these criminal activities. We have also noted that in some cases, the community has resorted to taking the law into their own hands, burning houses of those alleged to be part of the criminal syndicates,” he said.

Ripinga said this societal scourge requires that all of the people join hands to wage war against this violent crime.

“We appeal to the law enforcement agencies to assist in arresting these criminals who now on our streets. The safety of our communities is of paramount importance. In the next few weeks, the municipality will be embarking on a programme to find an amicable solution to this debacle,” he said.

A provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, told the newspaper the communities should be assured that the police are working around the clock to apprehend those behind these incidents and to put a stop to these acts of criminality.

He added, however, that it should be taken into consideration that they have a situation in which the recoveries of vehicles in Nkomazi are mostly ones that had been stolen or hijacked in other areas, mainly in other provinces.

He said motorists should not stop if they suspect they might be stopped by some bogus police officers. He said they should drive to the nearest police station, shopping complex or any other busy area when they are stopped by an unmarked vehicle fitted with blue lights.

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“If someone tries to force you off the road, do not panic, but just constantly hoot to draw attention. You have the right to request a police officer who is not in uniform and in an unmarked vehicle to identify themselves by producing their SAPS appointment card that would have their rank, date of service and a picture of them on it,” said Mdhluli.

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