Cape Town – Quick thinking by a hijacked motorist saw him ram into a police patrol van, injuring two suspected hijackers in his back seat.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said police were busy patrolling the area on Saturday when suddenly their vehicle was crashed into by another vehicle near Mfuleni.
Two alleged hijackers were arrested and police confiscated a 9mm pistol and a pump action shotgun, Traut said.
The incident happened shortly after a motorist was hijacked in his Toyota Avanza in Khayelitsha.
“The victim was hijacked by four suspects and was forced to drive his vehicle on the instruction of the hijackers.
“In Old Faure Road in Mfuleni, the victim spotted a police vehicle on patrol and deliberately collided into it to draw the attention of the SAPS members.
“During the collision two hijackers were injured as well as three SAPS members.
“The two injured hijackers were arrested while another two suspects managed to escape and evade arrest,” said Traut.
He said the suspects were under police watch in hospital and will appear in court soon.
Allegations have surfaced that hijackers target Toyota Avanzas in order to carry out crimes elsewhere.
The models are used as taxis in some townships of Cape Town.
Commenting on the trend, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association spokesperson Andile Seyamo said the police’s Operation Lockdown had made inroads in the fight against “amaphela” (Avanza sedan) taxis, because crimes linked to the model’s theft had decreased.
“Last year we had a lot of hijacking reports from amaphela drivers.
“These hijacked cars would then be used for house break-ins and other crimes.
“Things got so bad around April and May that drivers couldn’t drive in areas like Crossroads and Marikana, leaving commuters stranded.
“Criminals would sometimes not hijack the vehicle but rob everyone in the vehicle, including the driver.
“This really affected the business and residents were unhappy, but there was not much they could do.
“We only started seeing an improvement after the army deployment,” said Seyamo.
He said the taxi association was not aware of the hijacked Avanza in Khayelitsha, or if the driver was the owner of the vehicle, or an employee.