Hijackings on the Increase – Do SAPS Have Enough Resources?
Hijackings in the Western Cape appear to be on the increase in certain areas of the Western Cape and the South African Police Service (SAPS) do not appear to be prepared to deal with this serious crime.
Based on letters I received from Stellenbosch residents raising their concerns about the increase in hijackings in their area, I immediately sent a letter to the Provincial Police Commissioner, General Arno Lamoer in early April and asked for feedback about any investigations into these cases and if this had been identified as a trend and what measures were being put in place to prevent and detect this type of crime in that particular cluster. The response I received last week from the SAPS simply stated that there had been an average of one hijacking a month and that they did not consider this a trend.
Last year there were seven hijackings in Stellenbosch – the second highest in eight years, with zero hijackings in 2005. Based on this year’s preliminary figures, it would appear that we are seeing double the amount of hijackings when compared to last year if the trend continues unabated.
The Western Cape has not been a province associated with high levels of this type of traumatic and often violent crime, but based on recent information and crime statistics it is clear that the SAPS will urgently have to address this before hijackings become accepted as a common occurrence in the Western Cape.
- In March of this year a Bellville-based security company issued a warning and asked the local community paper to inform Bellville residents of an attempted hijacking at the intersection of Mountain View Drive and Eversdal Road.
- In April a woman was hijacked in the driveway of her house in a Stellenbosch suburb, kidnapped, gang raped and then left to drive herself back home.
- In another incident in April this year, a pizza delivery employee was hijacked and robbed in Stellenbosch.
- The Stellenbosch Watch issued a warning to all its members in April about hijackings in the area.
- A Stellenbosch businessman issued a letter to his colleagues and staff, warning them about hijackings and urging them to be aware of their surroundings.
- It has been reported that ADT have warned their members about an increase in hijackings in the Western Cape.
- This week a young woman was hijacked and kidnapped, but luckily escaped from her captors.
Civil society is clearly on high alert, but it appears as though it’s simply business as usual for the SAPS who have not made any arrests.
The total number of hijackings in the Western Cape has been increasing since 2010, when there were 457 hijackings, to the 789 hijackings recorded last year. This is the highest number of hijackings since 2007.
It is clear that the SAPS need to act against hijackings, and they need to act now.
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 072 623 4499