Police have confirmed investigating a case of armed robbery after Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and two protectors were robbed on the N3 in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.
Close sources said there had been an instruction not to open a case with the SAPS, to conceal this from the media.
The source told “The Star” that firearms belonging to the state and cellphones were stolen on Monday morning on the N3 between Vosloorus and Heidelberg.
“This is true, she did not want police officers to open a case. If they report, they might lose their work because of missing firearms.
“Protectors have a notebook that they sign every five to 10 minutes. The minister is in trouble,” said the source.
However, the Transport Ministry claimed that the minister and her protectors survived a spiking hijacking.
Department spokesperson Collen Msibi said they confirm reports of an incident of hijacking involving Chikunga.
“The tyres of the minister’s car were punctured by spikes, bringing the car to a stop, enabling the criminals to rob the occupants of valuables.
“This incident took place in the early hours of Monday morning when the minister was en route to Pretoria, on the N3 between Vosloorus and Heidelberg,” said Msibi.
Both the minister and her SAPS protection team emerged from this incident unharmed and safe, he said.
“Chikunga remains committed to fulfilling her government responsibilities and is deeply grateful for the overwhelming support she has received from her fellow government colleagues and the people of South Africa.
“The matter is currently being investigated by the SAPS and as such, we are unable to provide further details,” Msibi said.
SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe confirmed personal belongings and two SAPS service pistols were stolen during the incident.
“The members involved are receiving the necessary support and counselling. A manhunt has since been launched following this unprecedented incident and to bring to book those responsible for this attack. The minister has, in the meantime, been provided with alternative resources,” said Mathe.
She added: “The SAPS is committed to executing its mandate of protecting the executive of the country and community at large.
“VIP protection is one of the key priority areas for the SAPS and has been undertaken with excellence over the years. We endeavour to continue to serve and protect while observing all aspects of our VIP protection protocols.”
South Africans took to social media platform X, sharing different views on what could have transpired.
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X user, Mandy with good hair, wrote: “My guess is she was at a ben_10’s house there by Vosloorus.”
Another user, Kwena Molekwa write: “Good news ... now she will know what a nightmare it is for South Africans who are daily a target of car hijacking.”
Another user, Sphiwe Goodwill, wrote: “This is the very same woman who was accused of refusing to return two of her old official cars, a BMW X6 and a BMW GT, even after the Transport Department bought her two new official cars, a BMW X5 and a Jaguar F-Type4. Wanting to have it all. Look now what nature does to her.”