Businessman’s ‘hijack’ terror

2010-02-18 00:00

A PROMINENT local businessman is still in shock after a charcoal grey Mercedes Benz C200 Kompressor with blue lights on the back and front, forced the car he was travelling in off the road and tried to handcuff him.

On Tuesday at 6.25 pm the shaken businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, along with two younger relatives, had just left their business premises in the city centre when they made a sudden stop in Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street to close the boot of their car, which was accidentally left open. He was in the passenger seat while the third man was at the back.

In Manning Avenue the Mercedes Benz, with registration plate NUR 9503, with its blue lights flashing, approached from the rear and then blocked their way.

Four men in full police uniform carrying assault rifles jumped out of the vehicle, one directing traffic from behind while the other three went to the front passenger door.

“These guys flashed their police identity cards, but it wasn’t easy to make out their faces because they were so quick. They opened my uncle’s door and one took out handcuffs and started to put them on my uncle’s wrist. Without being told what we had done wrong, they handcuffed my uncle. I just felt that something was not right and instinctively pulled my uncle’s arm from the man’s grip and accelerated at the same time,” related the driver of the victim’s car.

He said the men appeared to be between the ages of 18 and 23.

After pulling off, the driver drove towards the Mountain Rise police station while the Mercedes Benz pursued them, but as they were nearing the police station the Mercedes turned around and disappeared. The matter was reported to the police.

The man said they were still not sure of the motive for the incident.

At 3.48 pm on the same day the same Mercedes was captured on CCTV cameras driving around the block near to the business premises owned by the victim. It came along Church Street, turned into Retief and drove down Langalibalele Streets. At 6.30 pm it was captured again driving past the shop just as the businessman left the premises.

Safe City general manager Lucas Holtzhausen could not reveal whether they have footage of the incident.

He said he could only release information to the public after it has been released to police investigators.

“At this stage … I cannot give you any information on this matter,” he said.

The Witness traced the vehicle as one registered under an Umhlanga Rocks resident’s name whose contact numbers could not be found. It was not reported as stolen.

Police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe confirmed the incident and said a case of attempted robbery was under investigation.

She also confirmed that the vehicle had blue lights and no arrests have been made.

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