Johannesburg - The dragging of a four-year-old boy outside a hijacked car in Boksburg at the weekend was a heartless act, Gauteng premier David Makhura said on Monday.
“This act was heartless. Dragging a small boy for 8km shows they could have been under the influence of drugs, as we know the community has a drug problem,” Makhura said.
He had visited the boy's family in Reiger Park, Boksburg. The hijacking took place in the suburb.
Investigations into the boy's death would be stepped up, Makhura said.
Taegrin Morris was travelling in a VW Golf with his mother, father and sister in Reiger Park on Saturday night when the family was approached by three men.
“They ordered him (the father), his wife and daughter to get out of the vehicle,” Lt-Col Khensane Magoai said on Sunday.
“The four-year-old was left in his safety belt. They (the hijackers) got in the car and drove away.”
Magoai said it was unclear how it happened but the boy was then dragged along, hanging outside the car door by his safety belt.
“He was dragged along until Boksburg. The hijackers then abandoned the vehicle and the boy was dead.”
Reiger Park is about 8,5km from Boksburg.
Gauteng police said they were questioning a man who they hoped would help them with their investigation.
“The man is being questioned but he is not a suspect,” said Colonel Noxolo Kweza.
“No arrests have been made and we are still searching for the suspects.”
Kweza said the police hoped the man would be able to give them information which could help in their investigation.
She denied a report that a man linked to the hijacking had handed himself over.
Makhura would visit on Monday afternoon the family of another toddler who was involved in a hijacking.
Mongezi Phike went missing after the car he was travelling in with his father was hijacked in Bronkhorstspruit on Tuesday.
The hijackers fled with the car and the boy inside.
The boy was found at a shelter in central Johannesburg.
“The boy was taken to the shelter after he was found wandering in the streets of Johannesburg,” said Captain Sarah Mcira.
It was not clear who took him to the shelter. She said the boy was reunited with his family on Monday morning after they had identified him.
Mcira said police were still looking for the hijackers.
The Freedom Front Plus said it was heartening that Phike's story was not just another statistic in the newspapers on Monday.
“In this instance we can be grateful along with his family. But regarding Taegrin Morris, it is something which should never have happened,” FF Plus spokesman Anton Alberts said in a statement.
He said the dragging incident showed that crime in South Africa was out of control, despite this being denied by the ANC-led government.
He called for the re-introduction of the death penalty to be seriously considered for individuals who committed crimes that were accompanied by such cruelty.
Alberts sent his condolences to the Morris family.