Gauteng motorist kills suspect who placed spikes on R80 highway as police launch manhunt for two others

Spikes are placed on the road to blow out tyres in order to rob motorists. Picture: Supplied

Spikes are placed on the road to blow out tyres in order to rob motorists. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 20, 2021


Johannesburg - A suspect who allegedly placed spikes on the R80 highway near Pretoria was shot dead by a motorist on Friday night, Gauteng police said.

The suspect, along with two other suspects, had allegedly placed spikes on the R80 highway causing the motorists tyres to suffer a puncture.

The motorist then attempted to change the tyre on the side of the highway when the armed suspects appeared, firing shots towards the motorist and his family.

The motorist fired back at the suspects, fatally wounding one with a shot to the upper body.

Two other suspects who are alleged to be part of the syndicate fled the scene and Gauteng police have since launched a manhunt for their arrest.

Police have opened an inquest dock as they believe the motorist was defending himself.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo said the motorist suffered a tyre puncture at about 9pm on Friday when he hit the spikes on the highway.

He said police were warning motorists to be vigilant and extra careful if they drove into the spikes.

“Police warn motorists to be extra careful and vigilant after three armed men attacked the family whose car had stopped after they got a puncture at about 9pm on Friday.

“It is reported that victims were driving on the R80 highway in Akasia when they hit what they suspected to be spikes placed on the road and the tyre went flat,” said Masondo.

Masondo said the motorist had been changing his tyres, with his wife standing outside the car, when the suspects emerged firing shots at the couple.

“The husband shot back and one suspect was hit on the upper body while the other two fled on foot. “Members of Flying Squad who were part of Operation O Kae Molao conducted in Akasia and Garankuwa responded promptly and a replica firearm was recovered at the scene, next to the shot suspect who was later certified dead by paramedics,” said Masondo.

He said although police were working hard to reduce spiking incidents along the N4 and R566 highways, and had stabilised the number of incidents, they were aware that the syndicate would change locations.

“The police have stabilised the incidents of car spiking in Gauteng roads that were on the increase, especially on the N4 highway and R566.

“Crime pattern analysis showed that as soon identified hotspots are mitigated with increased visibility of law enforcement and security partners then criminals either change their modus operandi or move to another location,” he said.

Police said motorists should report all incidents.

“If motorists suspect that their tyre punctures are as a result of having driven over spikes, they must immediately alert the police by calling the SAPS emergency number 10111, scanning their immediate environment and by staying vigilant while changing their tyre but they feel unsafe then they must try to drive to the nearest filling station or police station,” said Masondo.

Meanwhile, Gauteng police said 14 suspects who were arrested In October last year for “terrorising and robbing the community” in Akasia along the R80, Theo Martinspoort, R89 and the surrounding area, remained behind bars. Their criminal trials are expected to commenced between September and December this year.