Killed for having the wrong car

2008-10-17 00:00

A Pietermaritzburg man was stabbed to death by hijackers after they realised his car was not the model they had been sent to steal.

The gang, who have been arrested, then threw his body into the uMsunduzi River at Camps Drift, where it was found on Sunday, October 5.

The 34-year-old man, whose family did not want him named in the paper, had been reported missing the day before, and police found his body after his car was seen in Imbali.

After the car was reported on the Saturday afternoon, Plessislaer police connected it with the missing person report opened earlier in the day, and tracked down the car, a Corsa, abandoned in an open field in Unit 1, Imbali.

Swift police reaction led to the arrest of two men, who then led the police to two more men, who were allegedly involved in the hijacking.

Members of the Alexandra Road Detective Services, with the assistance of the PMB Crime Intelligence Unit and the Tracing Unit, went to two different houses in Imbali Unit 1, where the other two suspects were arrested. One of the suspects was allegedly found wearing the blood-covered clothing of the deceased, which was confiscated and sent for forensic analysis.

The suspects led the police to the man’s body in the river.

Siyanda Mkhize (24), Zamokuhle Ncalane (27), S’manga Ngcobo (24) and Nkosikhona Nxele (24) appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on October 8 on charges of hijacking and murder. All were remanded in custody until November 17.

Police believe the hijacking may be linked to a syndicate and that the suspects may have carried out several other hijackings in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.

“[The man] was hijacked of his vehicle, a Corsa hatchback, on Friday, October 3, and was taken to the Plessislaer area where the vehicle was intended to be sold to a ‘buyer’.

“It is alleged that the buyer then told the suspects that it was the wrong vehicle as he needed a Corsa bakkie. “The suspects then took the deceased to the river, where they stabbed him and threw him in the river,” said Budhram.

The 34-year-old victim was a student in his final year at the Durban University of Technology and was supposed to have started his final exams on October 13.

He was reportedly a prominent member of the Salvation Army church in the city and was on his way to a church meeting in Mooi River when he was hijacked.

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