In an incident in KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago, a rock was thrown onto an Audi, and this picture illustrates the damage caused. Picture: Supplied
In an incident in KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago, a rock was thrown onto an Audi, and this picture illustrates the damage caused. Picture: Supplied

Rock-throwing robbers a new scourge

By SIBONGILE MASHABA Time of article published Jan 15, 2018

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Johannesburg - The quick-thinking actions of a woman who drove off after a rock was hurled at her car might have saved her life.

The woman is one of many people who have recently fallen victim to an off-bridge rock-throwing phenomenon happening in some parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Joburg metro police department (JMPD) spokesperson Superintendent Edna Mamonyane said the Joburg traffic police told her the woman's BMW was hit along the N12 between the Golden Highway and N1 split in Freedom Park on Friday around 7am.

The rock damaged the bonnet and sunroof.

“The woman drove away, and we encourage motorists to do that. They should not stop because that is what these rock throwers want.

“By driving away, this woman saved herself from possibly being robbed or harmed,” Mamonyane said.

She said the woman stopped only when she saw a highway traffic officer on a bike and reported the incident.

“This is an ongoing phenomenon. We've had these complaints where people throw rocks and stones from a bridge or from the side of the freeway.

“When the motorist stops to see what it is that hit their car, they are robbed of personal belongings.

Read: Rock-throwing escalating in KZN

Two escape injury in Glen Anil rock throwing

"Our officers are doing their best to curb these attacks but we have also seen that once officers are deployed to a certain area, the rock and stone throwers move to another area,” Mamonyane said, adding that there had been incidents reported along the same stretch of road near the Lenasia off-ramp.

She said there were also instances where rocks were placed in the middle of the road.

“A motorist will then hit those rocks, stop and get robbed. When this happens, motorists must know that the people who placed or threw the rocks are in close proximity. As long as your car has not stalled, drive it as it is and go to the nearest police station. It is a scary situation but motorists must try to keep calm, as it could save their lives,” Mamonyane said.

Eldorado Park police spokesperson Captain Philemon Khorombi said the woman did not open a case but only did an accident report, which would assist her in claiming for damages from her insurance company.

REZA, a crime network, reported on Friday that there had been another rock-throwing incident that day on the N3 near the PPC factory. It posted pictures of the incident.

On December 28, Amina Haffajee, 16, and her brother Abdur Raheem, 7, were killed after a boulder thrown from a bridge crashed through the windscreen of their vehicle on the N2 highway near Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal.

In another incident, a truck driver is fighting for his life after another truck crashed into him while its driver tried to get away from a group of protesters, demanding pay hikes, who had stoned his vehicle.

Michael Netshivhazdwulu, a Quadro Plastics employee, was trapped in the truck after the head-on collision on Malibongwe Drive on Wednesday.

His brother Kenneth Mavhungu said he was devastated and that Netshivhazdwulu, from Alexandra, was in the intensive care unit at Milpark Hospital.

His assistant was treated for minor injuries.

“I was told he would not wake up now and that recovery could take between 46 and 50 weeks.

“He cannot talk or eat. He is just lying there,” Mavhungu said.

Netcare spokesperson Tebogo Magoro said reports from the scene allege that one of the trucks had been attacked by a group of people throwing rocks at it - smashing its windscreen. In an attempt to avert the attack, the driver collided with another truck.

Quadro Plastics general manager Simon Morgan said he was glad the two employees had survived the accident.

He said Netshivhazdwulu had been working as a driver at the company for 15 years.

“His recovery will take almost the whole year. He is a hard worker,” Morgan said.

The Star

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