N4 spiking incidents: WhatsApp groups save victims

Two victims who had their tyres spiked recall how a WhatsApp group started by security role players saved their lives.

Two more spiking incidents took place on the N4 near Brits recently, but in both cases, a task team could assist the victims before robbers could get to them, all thanks to WhatsApp groups created especially for this purpose.

“The moment after we hit the spikes and I realised my tyre was gone, I sent a message and pin drop on the group. By the time the car could go no further, there was help on the scene,” said a very grateful Lizzy Prinsloo who became a spiking victim on May 31.

Prinsloo, her mother and two children were on their way to Pretoria from Rustenburg around 18:20 when she drove over spikes just after the Ga-Rankuwa M17 offramp near De Wildt.

“There was, what seemed to be a rope in the road, but I couldn’t swerve. And then I felt there was something wrong with my wheel. I heard about the [WhatsApp] group two months ago and joined it because we travel on this highway every Friday.

“I immediately asked for help on the group with a pin drop and kept on driving. By the time we had to stop, help had arrived. An administrator of the group called and stayed on the phone with me until we were safely on our way. This group saved our lives. Thank you so much,” she said.

Minutes apart from this incident. Lorinda Gey van Pittius and her husband drove over spikes on the N1 just after leaving the N4.

“We saw a strip on the road but could not swerve. I told my husband we must just keep on driving, that is what security structures advise. We had joined the group earlier and wondered if it would help, seeing that it was for the Bakwena N4.

“We asked for help on the group, sent a pin drop and kept on driving at a snail’s pace. Within minutes security officers and Community Policing Forum members were with us. The group saved us, and we are so grateful,” she said.

The N4 Bakwena Spikings Panic Button group was created in March 2024 by De Wildt and Brits security members when spiking incidents were reported almost daily.

Kobus Grobler of Aequitas, Chris Degenaar of Afrique du Sud K9, and Hennie Barnard and Werner Claassen of the Brits Community Policing Forum decided to create a platform where victims could immediately ask for help, preventing robberies and assaults during the spiking incidents.

“It started as one group, but within days the group was full, and we had to create another. Currently, there are 16 groups with over 15 000 members and growing,” said Grobler.

The platform consists of members, 10 administrators and over 200 operational responders, including security companies, police, metro police, CPF members, mine security, ambulance and towing services.

The role-players are:

  • Aequitas Security,
  • Afrique de Sud K9,
  • Anglo Platinum Tactical Response Teams,
  • Brits CPF,
  • Monitornet Security,
  • Secra Security,
  • PPS Security,
  • Photego Security,
  • Tshenolo Investigations,
  • North West Traffic Department,
  • police units from North West and Gauteng,
  • Gauteng Traffic Special Law Enforcement Unit,
  • Akasia CPF,
  • Gauteng CPI and
  • Rustenburg CPF.

“The purpose of these groups is solely for emergency and no other posts. We have formed a task team and every single member is offering up sleep and private time to curb the spiking incidents. There have been arrests and we work closely with the police to catch the suspects,” Grobler said.

To join the groups, send a WhatsApp message to 082 907 0516 or 062 824 8445.


Read original story on kormorant.co.za

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