LEPHALALE — As the population of Lephalale decreases slowly but surely, new problems surface. An increase in criminal activities including a serious increase in burglaries and the beginning of hijacking attempts among others are observed by innocent community members.
Over the past week there had been incidents reported on social media about attempted hijackings in Onverwacht and near Marapong.
A man was involved in a hijacking on Friday 24 August during broad daylight at the robot of Nelson Mandela and George Wells Drive. He got away but the suspects succeeded in stealing money from him. He came out of the incident with a few bruises.
Another driver who went through a near hijacking in Nelson Mandela Drive, just across Lephalale TVET College, told Mogol Post that he was travelling from Marapong’s direction towards town on Saturday morning 25 August around 03:00.
“When I approached the college traffic lights I spotted two guys wearing track suits with their heads covered. The traffic light turned red as I was approaching it and I reduced the speed so as not to completely stop but to go slow until it opened for me. I knew it was dangerous to completely stop and as I was near the robot the two came out from nearby the Marula tree and pointed out to the town even though they were in the side of the road going to Marapong (where taxis usually pick up/drop off commuters).
“As soon as I stopped they came sprinting towards my car. I thought of the story I read about on Friday (where a local man claimed to have escaped hijacking at the robots near Mogol Club) and I drove through the red robot before they could reach me.”
Asked if he intended to give the two strangers a lift he said that was not the case, he was simply lowering the speed and looking on the guys approaching.
“One of the guys had both his hands in his tracksuit. The one guy that pointed looked like someone who was not sure which direction to point at, his one hand was also in the pocket and I couldn’t see if they held something in their pockets,” said the man.
One more near hijack incident happened near the robots at Nelson Mandela drive and Relebogile Street, known as the Exxaro intersection.
The driver was on his way from Marapong to Onverwacht around 02:00 on Sunday 26 August.
“Two guys came running to my car as soon as I slowed down at the robots and out of fear I accelerated,” he said.
Warrant Officer Frans Mokoena, Lephalale Police Cluster Spokesperson advises motorists to always close car windows and lock the doors when travelling.
“We advise motorists to always exercise caution, to also be able to avoid smash and grab incidents which are likely to happen whenever they leave valuables exposed.
Some people can act like they are hitchhiking only to find that they are on the lookout for valuables in cars that stop by the robots and as soon as a motorist approaches they strike,” said Mokoena.
He also encourages the community to call police immediately after seeing any suspicious behaviour on the roads.