AfriForum wants to help combat ambushes on highways

Henry

AfriForum says its neighborhood guards in and around Pretoria are committed to combating the serious increase in ambushes, especially on highways in the area. This includes thugs using sharp iron pins to subdue motorists.

RNews reported last week that a man was stabbed to death on the N4 at Donkerhoek in Pretoria when he changed a car tire on the side of the road. He drove over a sharp object in the road shortly before.

Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s spokesperson for community safety, says that this civil intervention forms part of AfriForum’s broader campaign “to curb the criminal bloodshed that opportunistic criminals and possibly even organized groups carry out on our roads”.

“This modus operandi is becoming more common by the day and several serious incidents have been reported in the past few weeks.

“Even ambulances and vehicles from the Tshwane Metropolitan Police (TMPD) have all become victims of these attacks,” says Broodryk.

He says sections of the N1 in the northern parts of Pretoria, as well as the R80 and the N4 in the northern parts and in the east of Pretoria, are already notorious for this kind of traps.

“In addition, other roads such as Garsfontein and De Villebois Mareuil Road have also been identified as ambush hotspots.”

AfriForum’s neighborhood watches in the Pretoria area have now committed themselves to include the crime hotspots where these ambushes on highways regularly occur in their patrol routes.

“AfriForum neighborhood watch will be aware of any suspicious items on these routes and assist community members who may need assistance in this regard.”

Broodryk says the use of sharpened iron pins to damage vehicles and thus force motorists to stop in order to attack them, was previously recorded more often on back roads and quiet routes.

“However, criminals have now started to use this technique on busier roads as well, although it is often carried out at quieter times of the day – and especially at night.

“AfriForum calls on local community policing forums (CPF) and other community security structures to work with AfriForum to combat this type of crime.”

Broodyrk says motorists can keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Under no circumstances should you stop after an incident where the vehicle’s tyres, windscreen or parts have been damaged. Drive as far as possible until you reach a safe destination.
  • Immediately contact your local neighborhood watch, security company or emergency services and notify them of the incident. Give full details of the object used in the trap and provide its address or location. This will prevent attacks on motorists who may be targeted after you in the same way.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged before you hit the road.
  • Share your location with loved ones, especially when traveling alone.
  • Be prepared and get into the habit of looking further down the road in order to spot any threats, foreign objects or people along the road in time.
  • Save emergency services, the neighborhood watch or your security company’s contact number on your phone.
  • Consider installing an emergency service app, such as the AfriForum 911 panic button app, on your phone. This app is available for free on the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the App Store (for iOS devices).