Spiking of vehicles a concern

AfriForum’s community safety spokesperson Jacques Broodryk. Picture: AfriForum.

AfriForum’s community safety spokesperson Jacques Broodryk. Picture: AfriForum.

Published Apr 11, 2024


The civil rights organisation AfriForum announced that its neighbourhood watches in and around Pretoria are committed to combating the serious increase in the use of spike traps that are currently recorded on several main routes, especially on the outskirts of the city.

This civil intervention forms part of AfriForum’s broader campaign to curb the criminal bloodshed carried out by opportunistic criminals and possibly even organised groups using spike and stone traps in particular.

Several serious incidents of spiking have been reported over the past few weeks. A man was recently killed, on a Sunday, in an attack on the N4 east of Pretoria. Robbers stabbed him with a knife after his vehicle’s tyres were damaged by sharpened iron spikes placed on the road.

He was attacked, robbed and killed when he pulled over to inspect the damaged tyres.

This modus operandi is becoming ever more common and even ambulances and vehicles from the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) have been the target of these attacks.

According to Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s Chief Spokesperson for Community Safety, it was found that sections of the N1 north of Pretoria, the R80, the N4 in the north of the city as well as the N4 route in the vicinity of Pretoria East have already become notorious for these traps.

In addition, other roads such as Garsfontein and De Villebois Mareuil Drives have also been identified as ambush hotspots.

“Our neighbourhood watches in the Pretoria area have committed themselves to include the hotspots, where spiking and stone traps regularly occur, in their patrol routes, to be on the lookout for any suspicious objects on these routes and to help civilians who might need assistance in this regard,” Broodryk said.

He added that the use of sharpened iron spikes to damage cars and thus force motorists to stop and then fall victim to an attack was previously a technique used on back roads and quiet routes.

“Criminals, however, have now started to apply this technique to busier roads as well, although it is often carried out at quieter times of day, and especially at night.”

AfriForum called on local Community Policing Forums (CPFs) and other community safety structures to join hands with AfriForum in combating this type of crime.

Broodryk gave practical advice to motorists regarding spike and stone traps, which include that motorists must under no circumstances stop their vehicles after an incident in which the vehicle’s tyres, windscreen or other parts have been damaged.

“ Continue driving as far as possible until you reach a safe destination.

He said motorists who are confronted by such a situation should contact their local neighbourhood watch, a security company or emergency services as soon as possible and inform them of the incident.

“Give full details of the object used in the trap and provide the address or location thereof. This will prevent attacks on other motorists who may be targeted in the same way.”

His further advice is that motorists should ensure that their cellphones are charged before they hit the road. They should also share their location with loved ones, especially when travelling alone.

Broodryk also advised that motorists be alert and get into the habit of looking ahead in the road to spot any threats, foreign objects, or people on or along the road.

Save the contact numbers of the emergency services, the local neighbourhood watch or security companies on your phone, is another tip.

He said motorists should consider installing an emergency service application, such as the AfriForum 911 panic button application, on their phone. This application is available for free on Google Play Store (for Android devices) and App Store (for iOS devices).

Pretoria News