File picture: SAPS (Twitter)
File picture: SAPS (Twitter)

Concerns raised over Westville crime spike

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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Durban - As the nation grapples with the spread of Covid-19, criminals are taking full advantage of the crisis by targeting unsuspecting residents.

That was the sentiment expressed by DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango after he narrowly survived an attempted hijacking at his house in Westville on Wednesday.

Mncwango is one of three people who were victims or almost fell prey to hijackers in Westville this week.

The wife of government spokesperson Agiza Hlongwane was hijacked, while former eThekwini deputy mayor Fawzia Peer said a white vehicle with five men inside sped away from her home after being spotted by security officials.

Mncwango said he was cornered by five men as he entered his home.

“This was a brutal reminder that while we are busy dealing with the coronavirus, crime is still very high in South Africa.

“Normally, I am very vigilant when it comes to crime, I usually close my gate as the car is still driving in,” said Mncwango.

He said he had just driven into his home at about 11am when he noticed four armed men entering his property.

“They were driving a white BMW 1 series. The driver remained in the car outside the gate, one man stood by the gate and three men rushed towards me and told me to stand where I was.”

He said what saved him was that it was a distance from the gate to his house, so the criminals realised that if there was a shoot-out, getting away would be difficult.

“I realised that the house keys were on the car seat and I reached inside the car to press the panic button. I suspect the one pointing a firearm at me thought I was drawing a firearm and he shouted to the others and they all fled,” he said.

Mncwango said he only realised later that he could have been killed, adding that it looked as though they wanted to hijack him, because “they had plenty of time to shoot me if they wanted to”.

“I suspect they followed me from Westville Mall. This is just a reminder that crime is still rife in South Africa. If there could be five people all armed in one car, that shows that crime is a real problem and we are just sitting ducks,” he said.

Mncwango said he had not opened a criminal case because “while the police were attending to me, there was another incident and they rushed to that and never came back”.

Peer said she was almost attacked by five men in a white car on Tuesday.

“I would not go so far as to say it was an attempted hijacking, but I believe they had been following me for a few days as I’ve seen the car before,” she said.

She added that on Tuesday morning, the same car was parked next to her home, but quickly sped away after being noticed by security.

She said people in Westville had become targets “because people think that we are very rich”.

The Mercury

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