The suspect faces a charge of possession of a suspected hijacked truck.
The provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the suspect was arrested on Thursday, January 18.
“According to a report, a truck driver was heading towards Standerton, transporting soya. It is said that while driving, he noticed a white sedan in front with three male occupants inside. This private vehicle was driving at a slower pace which forced the truck to also drive slow.
“It is further indicated that it was during this period when two occupants from the sedan who appeared to have been armed, forced their way into the truck and held him [driver] hostage then tied his hands and feet as well as covered his head. The suspects reportedly forced him into the back of the truck,” Mdhuli said.
During the commission of the crime, the truck driver got a phone call and was ordered by his hijackers to convince the person on the other end that everything was under control.
The suspects drove with the truck driver for 18 kilometres towards Standerton central business district (CBD).
The truck driver was left stranded in the bushes, his cellphone taken by the suspects.
Through their partners, the owners of the truck became aware of sinister activity and alerted law enforcement agencies.
The truck was spotted being driven by one of the suspects in the streets of Standerton around 6.30pm.
“Efforts were made by the men and women in blue in partnership with Kasselman Security guards to stop the truck but their order was not considered as the suspect who was driving proceeded and bumped into the back of the vehicle belonging to the security company, which resulted in the truck overturning.
“The suspect was then arrested and the man was reportedly found with a toy gun in his possession which is believed to have been used in the truck hijacking,” Mdhuli said.
The suspect could face more charges as the investigation continues.
The truck driver (victim) managed to walk until after midnight on Friday, January 19, he got help and eventually reported the matter to law enforcement agencies. Preliminary investigation further revealed that the truck was reportedly hijacked at Vrede in the Free State.
Since the beginning of 2024, more than 20 hijacked vehicles have been recovered across Mpumalanga.
Police are still hunting for the accomplices of the arrested suspects and have urged members of the public to assist with any information that could lead to an arrest.
Information can be shared via Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or via the MySAPS App. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.