File picture: Skyler Reid

Pretoria - The South African Police Service in Sunnyside, on the eastern side of the Pretoria CBD, on Monday, warned motorists to be cautious in the highly populated and bustling area as the festive season approaches.

"With the festive season at our doorstep, the following motorists are warned to be cautious when driving in Sunnyside: the so-called 'blessers' who frequent residences that are saturated with young women, those who drive around in search of ladies of the night or propose to unknown women found on the sidewalks, especially after sunset," said Sunnyside police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela.

The term “blesser” is colloquially used in South Africa to refer to older, wealthy men who date younger women. The younger women receive benefits, including money and expensive gifts from the “blessers”.

Pretoria arguably has the highest number of tertiary education institutions in South Africa and draws students from different parts of the country and other parts of the world.

Mavimbela said the warning was also extended to motorists who sit in their parked vehicles in parking bays, and to all motorists to be vigilant as they enter their residences.

Meanwhile, the Sunnyside police station said it is not only striving towards its goal of reducing serious and violent crimes in the area by arresting alleged perpetrators, but the local police are also pulling out all stops to ensure that persons accused of trio crime related incidents spend the festive season behind bars.

The trio crimes are hijackings, house and business robberies.  

Station Commander of the Sunnyside police station, Brigadier Ramakamakama Kekana said having criminals behind bars throughout the festive season would ensure a safer environment during this period.

"We are pleased that of the seven men that were caught separately on suspicion of either hijacking or possession of both hijacked motor vehicles and an unlicensed firearm, four were denied bail," Kekana.

He made the remarks after two men were denied bail in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court following their arrest last month for allegedly being in possession of a hijacked VW Polo and an unlicenced firearm.

Two more suspects were also denied bail recently in the same court following their arrest in Mamelodi about two months ago after crashing a BMW that they had reportedly hijacked in Sunnyside on the same day.