Don’t bother with a case, car will be impounded, hijack victim says cops told him

2013-12-04 00:00

A MAN who was hijacked and severely assaulted, was allegedly told not to bother laying criminal charges by police.

Vusi Ngcobo, a freelance writer based in Howick in the Midlands, said he was hijacked last Saturday and his car recovered by police in Nxamalala in Sweetwaters on Sunday.

He claims police told him if he opened a hijacking case, they would have to impound the car for the duration of the investigation.

As a freelance writer, he uses the car for work. He said he was told not to even open a case of assault as that originated from the hijacking.

Ngcobo said he was on his way home on Saturday night when he was hijacked just before the Hilton turn-off in Caluza road. A car blocked his path and several men jumped out.

“They started screaming obscenities at me saying I was a bad driver and talking about taking my car … I pulled the key from the ignition and jumped out of the car and fled to a forest next to the road hoping to frustrate them.

“I heard one of them shouting that I had fled with the key … I decided to go deeper into the forest trying to get away. But, it seems, they knew the forest better than me because suddenly three of them appeared in front of me and two others behind me.”

Ngcobo, still walking gingerly and showing severe bruising in his arms, yesterday said the men beat him up with wheel spanners and stomped on him for 15 minutes, before leaving him for dead.

They then started his car with the key and drove off.

“I was severely injured and could not walk properly; I had to walk in that condition for at least 20 kilometres before I could find help at 2 am.”

On Sunday, he went to open a case at Plessislaer police station.

“The police officer very politely said I could not open a hijacking case because I did not have a log book … I could not even open a case of assault because it was a result of the hijacking.”

He said the police found his car on Sunday. “They said if I wanted, I could open a case but they would have to impound the car for the duration of the case. I need my car for work and police pounds are not safe.”

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said they will investigate the allegations. He said it was “impossible for the police not to open a case” when the victim has asked that one be opened.

“Any person can open a case at a police station regardless of whether there is a log book of a vehicle or not.”

He disputed the allegations that police would keep the car for the duration of the case. “Once the fingerprint experts are done dusting it for prints, it is given back to the owner.”

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