Lieutenant Colonel Assar Tjale

An off-duty detective’s alertness led to the arrest of four suspected hijackers near Hartbeespoort last week.

Lieutenant Colonel Assar Tjale of the Brits police detective unit, who was on leave, was driving on the R511 when he noticed a suspicious vehicle speeding away and gave chase, called for back-up and a multiple police chase then led to the arrest.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani a 30-year-old man, driving a Toyota Hilux, was hijacked near Hernic mine around 10:00 on Monday, 10 February, when he gave a pedestrian a lift at a stop-and-go on the R511.

“The passenger asked to be dropped off on a gravel road and when the man stopped, three more suspects emerged from the bushes and from a blue Toyota Corolla that stopped.” The motorist was threatened at gunpoint, tied up and forced into the Toyota. The hijackers sped off with him and the off-duty detective noticed them.

After Lt Col Tjale called for backup, police from Brits and Hartbeespoort responded. Police from Hartbeespoort intercepted the Toyota in Broederstroom. The two hijackers jumped out of the vehicle, they were chased and caught by the police. The tied-up victim was discovered in the vehicle.

In the meantime, two Brits detectives saw the Toyoya Hilux, which was hijacked, coming off the gravel road and followed the vehicle, intercepting it at Damdoryn. Two suspects were arrested.

Jabulani Sibasa (46), Thabo Ncobo (25), Siphelele Mazibuko (25) and Johannes Nceba (32) appeared before Brits Magistrates’ Court last week on charges of car hijacking, possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle as well as kidnapping. They were remanded in custody until their next court appearance on Wednesday, 19 February 2020.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, commended the off duty police officer for his vigilance, that lead to this success. “The police urge motorists to exercise caution when stopped by unknown persons and to report such incidents to the nearest police station. If stopped by police or traffic officials and you feel unsafe / threatened, put on your hazard lights and slowly drive to the nearest police station. Never offer a lift to a hitchhiker and do not stop next to the road, except for an emergency. People stopping to relieve themselves put themselves at risk,” Funani said.

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