WATCH: Tshwane cops search mountains for criminals terrorising motorists along R80 highway
Pretoria - Tshwane policing authorities tightened their laces and climbed the Theo Martins mountains in the Magaliesberg in search of criminals who have been terrorising motorists along the R80 highway.
This came after angry motorists and tow-truck drivers blocked the highway early in the morning after a series of voice notes had been trending on WhatsApp from motorists who have been stabbed and robbed in the area by a group who allegedly hide on the mountain.
People in the voice notes could be heard confirming each other's stories about how the criminals attack unsuspecting motorists who stop to urinate or attend to a mechanical failure but were then dragged away from the road.
They said the suspects were violent and stabbed their victims numerous times as they made them give up their valuables and send them cash while their colleagues went and withdrew the money.
The crowd said enough was enough and no criminal should be comfortable in the mountains while hurting innocent people.
They claimed that the criminals were mostly illegal foreigners who were so violent that they pulled out people's eyes, and even cut one victim so badly that his intestines leaked out.
They were joined by renown former Comrades Marathon champion Nick Bester who found himself in ICU after being attacked and robbed in a similar incident on the Magaliesberg mountains last month
Bester said: "I'm actually very excited and happy to see the police come here because a lot of people have been robbed in these mountains. We found several pieces of clothing, we found credit cards and licences of people who have been robbed.
"There was another guy who came here in the morning and he was robbed here just last week on the side of the road. I am so glad and delighted that the police are doing something about it and I hope we can catch the culprits because society is not safe when people of that calibre are running around outside and not in jail."
A victim who asked not to be named said he was robbed near the area when he stopped to urinate in the morning at 7am. He said he was hit hard with a stone, dragged up the mountain and it left him with an open head wound.
He said: "I think they even wanted to burn me because they put wood on my head but they were disturbed by sounds of bikers who ride around the mountain. They took my cards, cellphone, my car keys and other valuables."
Tshwane district police commissioner major-general Hilda Mohajane who was at the scene said she could confirm that there have been cases opened about these crimes and preliminary investigations confirm that there are indeed robberies on the mountain and a person who was killed.
She said: "This area is policed by three police stations being Pretoria North, Akasia and Hercules and we have cases reported at all these police stations. We have taken all the cases and elevated them to district so that we can centralise the investigations.
"We have two people that have been arrested and that matter is in the courts and they will appear some time in November.
SAPS and metro police officers who spent most of the morning patrolling the mountain were able to find evidence suggesting that people could be frequently visiting the mountain.
They collected cellphone pouches, empty boxes of cigarettes, clothing items, credit cards and licences that could belong to people who might have fallen victim to the suspects.