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Reader: 'Hijacking in SA - a car is not worth your life'

2016-05-11 07:26

GRIM REALITY ON SA'S ROADS: Wheels24 reader Jacques Van der Merwe shares his hijacking story and urges fellow readers to be vigilant. Image: iStock

Jacques Van Der Merwe

Earlier in May Wheels24 reported on a driver's quick reaction which saved them from a potential armed robbery and/or hijacking. The video was uploaded to YouTube.

Wheels24 reader Jacques Van Der Merwe shared his harrowing experience with us:

Van Der Merwe says: A few years ago on Mother's Day I was on my way to drop off my grandmother after lunch with family in Edenvale. On my way back to the south of Johannesburg at the London road off ramp, I stopped at the robot.

READ: 10 life-saving tips on SA's roads

Before I stopped I was just about to finish my cigarette and noticed three guys walking along the bridge but did not pay attention. As I took my last drag and rolling down the window these three guys ran up to my car. One guy reached for my keys in the ignition and out of instinct, I pulled him into the car and started punching him. As I kept on punching the guy, another guy got in the passenger side and started slapping me.


*Have you been the victim or had a lucky escape from a hijacking? Email us your story.


I released the guy that I was punching and decided to fight back and get out of the car. As I was struggling to release the seat belt I eventually got out and as I looked up I had two guns against my chest and another against my head. I just said to them 'take the bakkie'.

People kept on driving past me as I signaled for help and a random driver stopped to help me. He lived in the location and borrowed me his phone so I could call the police and my parents. While I was on the phone he drove through Alexandra, a township outside Johannesburg, to look for my bakkie but to no avail. He then dropped me off at the police station afterwards.

Hijacking in SA: 'Quick thinking saved our lives!'

Luckily my car had an anti-hijacking device which cut out the engine, and as the day shift cops were on their way to knock off duty they got a report from the hijacking. Within 30 minutes of the hijacking my car was recovered 1km from the police station.

As I went to inspect my car, I found my phone, my wallet with R600 in, and other valuables. The only thing they took was my GPS navigation system. I am grateful to this day that the police recovered my bakkie and I still drive it, and I'm grateful that someone upstairs was protecting me.

Just a tip for everyone in future: Be aware of your surroundings; always lock the doors, and close the windows, and definitely don't fight back! A car is not worth your life. 

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