Durban - An uMhlanga businessman was assaulted, robbed and hijacked by five men - one wearing a metro police reflector jacket and cap - on Tuesday evening.
The man’s two-and-a-half-hour ordeal started just after 4pm when he was flagged down by a “policeman” who emerged from a metro police minibus in uMhlathuzana Road, Seaview.
The incident has been confirmed by the eThekwini Municipality and a metro officer has been arrested.
The businessman, who did not want to be identified, said he had been driving from his offices.
“The policeman was in civilian clothing but wearing a metro police reflector jacket and a metro police cap,” he said.
“He asked for my driver’s licence, which I presented. He then went to the licence disc on my windscreen and said: ‘Listen, your licence disc is expired.’
“I said this was impossible because the vehicle was only three or four months old.”
As the victim was about to check the disc the “policeman” shoved him into his vehicle.
Three others climbed in and they drove off. One man stayed with the metro police vehicle.
They took the businessman’s wallet, ring, watch “and other valuables” and demanded his bank card PIN numbers and took him to an ATM.
“They assaulted me, saying it was the wrong PIN. I told them they were using the wrong account, after which they drew the money.”
His legs and hands were tied up and then the men asked him where he lived, but he intentionally gave the wrong address.
To his astonishment, however, the robbers told him his correct address, before driving to his house in uMhlanga Ridge.
“I was stunned they knew this,” he said. “They said they would assault me and my family until I told them where I kept the safe and money.”
The robbers drove to his house, but made a U-turn when they saw cars in the driveway. Friends and relatives had come to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.
“I told them they could go to my office. All they were interested in was the money,” he said.
The robbers lured the security guard from the office, tied his hands and pushed him into the vehicle.
“They then pulled me out and led me into the office. I took them to the safe,” he said.
The robbers left him under a table before fleeing with R170 000. He was freed when ADT security arrived.
He was unsure what happened to the metro police minibus, but said the four men had a “laptop-like device with antenna”. He searched online for the device on Wednesday and found it was a “signal jamming device”.
This appeared to be confirmed by a signal report provided by a car tracking company, which showed there was no signal from his car between 3.56pm and 6.32pm.
He said he had lost confidence in the police.
“Where else do we go? When a policeman stops you, you must not stop,” he said.
The incident was confirmed by the metro police and the SAPS. Municipal spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa said one metro policeman had been arrested and another was being questioned. Police spokesman Jay Naicker said the suspect would appear in court soon.
The vehicle was found abandoned in Cato Manor.
Mthethwa said the municipality was aware of “lawless” officers in the metro police and she urged people to report all unusual incidents.