File picture: Flickr
File picture: Flickr

Hijacked and burnt alive: Witsand murder shocks Cape Town surfers

By Chelsea Geach Time of article published May 11, 2019

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Cape Town’s surfing community is reeling after a local surfer was hijacked near Kommetjie and then murdered.

The charred body of the surfer was found in the boot of his car on Wednesday and it appears he was burnt alive after the hijackers set fire to the car.

It is believed the 38-year-old man from Scarborough was attacked by two men in the evening while returning to his car after surfing at Witsand. His attackers put him in the boot of his car, then drove away in it.

Ocean View police spokesperson Sergeant Leon Fortuin said the hijackers then gave two women a lift. On Slangkop Road, near Ocean View, the women became aware someone was in the boot of the car and told the hijackers they wanted to get out immediately. The men refused and, while arguing with the women, crashed into a vehicle.

“The other driver gave chase, because he thought it was a drunk driver,” Fortuin said. “When they stopped, he saw four people getting out (of the hijacked car). Then two men pointed firearms, so the driver pulled away.

“He watched them from a distance, and saw them scratching in the car then setting the car alight.”

Fortuin said it appeared the victim was alive when the hijackers set fire to the car. “According to me he was still alive, because the two girls who were in the car said he was alive and (judging from the position of his body) it looked like he was trying to climb out the vehicle,” Fortuin said. “But that is just speculation - we are awaiting the post-mortem results.”

The victim’s name had not been released because family members had not yet been informed of his death.

Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said an investigation was under way.

Members of the ocean sports community offered their condolences to the victim’s family and friends on Facebook.

“It’s hard to express the anger and distress we, the surfers... are feeling,” wrote Steve de Witt. “Thanks to the SAPS, who are putting in a big effort, and all who responded when the terrible call came through.”

Others called for a mass paddle in memory of the murdered surfer.

Weekend Argus

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