Cape Town - Additional police officers will be deployed to patrol the N2 following a spate of robberies of motorists brought to a stop by the stoning of their vehicles or rocks placed in their path.
Earlier this month, South African Airways pilot Archie Bell, who was driving home towards central Cape Town after a late flight, narrowly escaped a potential robbery at the airport approach road exit, a section that authorities have described as a problem.
Days before this, an SAA cabin crew member was injured after stopping on the same stretch of the N2 because rocks had been placed on the road.
Lynette Mitchell, from Somerset West, narrowly escaped injury when her vehicle hit a rock in the middle of the road about 300m from the airport approach road last week. The impact damaged the bumper and caused the vehicle to swerve before coming to a stop.
Mitchell could not be reached for comment, but her mother, Erika Mitchell, said she had been “totally traumatised” by the experience.
“Her car was a write-off. She was in the left lane and after hitting the rock, swerved to the right. There were two cars behind her and they slowed down,” said Erika Mitchell.
Mitchell said police officers parked on the side of the road had seen what happened and came to help.
Motorists using the M3 between Cape Town and Muizenberg have complained about similar incidents.
A Marina Da Gama resident, who declined to be named, said her granddaughter’s car was stoned as she was driving home from work about midnight.
“Between the Constantia and Kendal Road turn-off stones were thrown at her car.
“Luckily they didn’t hit the windscreen, but there was a lot of glass in the road, so they must have hit other cars. There was a black car at the side of the road that started following her, but she raced to the Kirstenhof police station.”
Constantia Watch has issued a statement notifying residents of “unconfirmed reports of stones being thrown at vehicles on the M3 direction Tokai, between the Constantia on-ramp and Kendal Road off-ramp at night”.
“This may be kids’ pranks, but may be a ploy to get you to stop, for thieves to pounce on you from the bushes or from a following vehicle,” it said.
Police were concerned about the frequency of incidents, particularly on the N2, spokesman Frederick van Wyk said.
“The entire route is well policed by the Western Cape Flying Squad, assisted by patrols from police stations and the metro police.”
During a breakdown, motorists should remain in their vehicles and report the problem by phone, he said.
He urged motorists to report incidents.
The mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said metro police and law enforcement officers would be deployed to the area.
“The freeway management system is also helping us with policing the N2.
“Our circular cameras will watch out for any suspicious movement.
“If we see people loitering around the road or placing rocks on the road, we will act.”
The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) was aware of reports of an increase in the number of robberies of motorists on the N2 near Cape Town International Airport, spokesman Vusi Mona said.