Hijackers ‘phoned for buyers’

2009-04-28 00:00

A Richmond man was hijacked in Pietermaritzburg, driven around for an hour and dumped in a sugar cane plantation near Camperdown yesterday morning.

Xolani Makhwasa (25) spent an hour lying flat in the back seat of his car with a gun pointed to his head, and listening to his hijackers phoning a potential buyer for the vehicle.

At 7.15 am Makhwasa was waiting outside the gate at his friend’s place in Richmond Crest, Pietermaritzburg, when he was hijacked by people he thought needed directions.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said Makhwasa had arranged to take Zine Nzimande to Richmond. While he was waiting, a Toyota Corolla with a Gauteng registration number pulled up next to his car.

Three men jumped out of the Corolla, pointed a gun at him, dragged him out of the driver’s seat and shoved him into the back seat. He was told to lie down and could not see anything.

“During the ordeal, Makhwasa heard the suspects calling someone and informing that person that they were in possession of a Toyota Yaris and a laptop which was for sale,” said Budhram.

An hour later Makhwasa was told to get out of the car and was left stranded on the road.

“He then realised that he was in the sugar cane fields along the old south coast road near Camperdown.” He hitched a ride from a passing motorist, who dropped him off at the Camperdown police station where he reported the matter.

A school pupil who lives near Nzimande’s house told her that he had seen men forcing Makhwasa into the back seat of his vehicle and that they drove away with him.

Nzimande immediately reported the incident to the police. The youngster also told her that one of the suspects drove the Corolla and followed the other two in Makhwasa’s Yaris.

Makhwasa was not injured, but the suspects also took his laptop and cellphone. Makhwasa’s stolen car is a black Toyota Yaris, NJ 46552.

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