14 arrested after attacks on Cape e-hailing drivers
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Cape Town – Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) says the arrest of 14 suspects, alleged to be involved in the hijackings of e-hailing drivers at the weekend, will send a strong message to criminals in the area.
Chairperson Martin Makhasi said the hijackings were mostly perpetrated by school-going youngsters and Nyanga police had constantly warned motorists and drivers to not accept ride requests from or into Philippi and Brown’s Farm.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said while on patrol in Mpozolo Street, police arrested the suspects, including six teenagers, shortly after they had robbed a driver in Brown’s Farm.
Van Wyk said that on questioning, the suspects led police to a shack in Phantsi Kwecingo informal settlement where 11 suspects were found with two cellphones belonging to the driver.
Meanwhile, two suspects aged 21 and 22, on January 14 were arrested for hijacking and attempted murder.
In a separate incident, five suspects aged between 21 and 41 were arrested while transporting stolen vehicle parts in a Toyota Avanza near Siyanyanzela informal settlement, known for stripping vehicles.
Van Wyk said all suspects were due to appear in the Athlone and Philippi magistrates’ courts today on charges of armed robbery, attempted hijacking, attempted murder and hijacking, and possession of stolen property.
Makhasi said one illegal firearm removed from the hands of criminals in the Nyanga police precinct was appreciated. He said the perpetrators were using facilities used for their development to commit these crimes.
“We commend SAPS members who were involved in visible policing duties in the area of Brown’s Farm, Philippi who apprehended these suspects.
“The arrest of suspects involved in car hijacking is going to send a clear message that if one thinks in the Nyanga Police Precinct they will hijack cars, police will deal with them.
“However, we wish the National Prosecuting Authority can play its part as well. Our frustration both as the CPF and SAPS is that these criminals seem to have it easy with courts.
“Perpetrators of these kinds of cases are not successfully prosecuted,” he said.
Manager of E-hailing service Bolt South Africa, Gareth Taylor, welcomed the news and commended the officers involved.
“Bolt condemns violence of any form directed towards e-hailing drivers and passengers because it believes every South African has the right to earn a living and move around without risk of harm, intimidation, coercion or fear of death or injury,” he said.
Taylor said Bolt was actively engaging with the three spheres of government and the police at all levels to address e-hailing-related crime in South Africa and continued to work with the authorities to improve safety for e-hailing drivers in Nyanga and the rest of South Africa.