Hijackers hit on taxi

2010-05-19 00:00

TWO men aged 19 and 30 were arrested by the Pietermaritzburg dog unit on suspicion of hijacking a minibus taxi on Monday evening, after a car chase.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said police were alerted to a stolen vehicle, which was spotted along Old Greytown Road. They gave chase, which led to the suspects’ arrests.

The minibus was reported stolen in Pinetown in the afternoon.

A Toyota Tazz with an NU (Westville) registration, driving near the taxi, sped off when its occupants saw the police in pursuit. The driver lost control and the car struck a wall. The occupants are believed to be linked to the hijacking of the taxi.

“The occupants jumped out of the car, fired gunshots at the police and ran into the nearby bushes and got away. The registration does not exist in the police system,” said Jeevan.

The minibus was hijacked on route to KwaDabeka near Pinetown.

Driver Vuka Jali (40) said that on his second to last stop to KwaDabeka, three passengers remained in the taxi.

When he headed back to Pinetown, his assailants struck.

“One man jumped into the front seat and pressed a firearm to my head while the other two pushed me to the middle seats. They took the money and the cellphone and drove towards Inanda while my head was pinned down against the seat,” said Jali.

Near Inanda Dam, one of the men made a phone call seeking advice on what to do with Jali.

As they got near the dam, one of the three said they should just shoot him and dump him in the dam.

“I began to pray and it was after 8 pm and dark. The vehicle stopped and I was ordered to get out and run. All I could think about were my four children and how cruel people can be to kill you, despite your begging for your life,” Jali said.

A vehicle approached from the opposite direction and one of the three shouted at the others not to shoot, and they sped away along with the taxi.

The two suspects will appear in a Pinetown court shortly on charges of hijacking.

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