'Ghost car' mystery revealed

Cape Town - The reason behind a mysterious jumping "ghost car" that had the country in a tizz was revealed by Renault South Africa, who published its findings after thoroughly investigating the phenomenon.

It turned out the Renault Megane's starter was activated by periodic short circuits caused by a rusty starter cable.

A rusty cable that leads to the battery supply relay box caused the short circuits. Since the car was parked in reverse, it "jumped" backwards every time the cable short-circuited, igniting the starter.

John Roberts, vice-president of after-sales services at Renault SA in Johannesburg, stressed that the findings made clear that rust, and not a faulty product, had caused the phenomenon.

Ian Schietekat, owner of the Roosboom guesthouse where the car "jumped" early one morning, was glad to hear that Renault had found the reason for the car's strange behaviour.

"We were inundated with calls from all over. Some people thought it was a marketing ploy for the guesthouse. Many people discussed the phenomenon, and I even had to tell it on radio," Schietekat said.

An exorcist contacted him and his wife all the way from America, offering to come and drive out the "demon that made the car jump".

Schietekat was glad the story had a happy ending and that everyone could breathe easy again.

"But as soon as something jumps again, I'll let you know immediately," he joked.

  • Send e-mail to csmith@dieburger.com
  • We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
    In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
    Subscribe to News24
    Lockdown For
    DAYS
    HRS
    MINS
    Voting Booth
    President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
    Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
    Results
    The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
    72% - 8669 votes
    A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
    28% - 3408 votes
    Vote
    Rand - Dollar
    15.91
    +0.2%
    Rand - Pound
    21.16
    +0.1%
    Rand - Euro
    17.96
    +0.2%
    Rand - Aus dollar
    11.22
    +0.7%
    Rand - Yen
    0.14
    +0.3%
    Gold
    1,770.72
    +0.2%
    Silver
    22.31
    -0.3%
    Palladium
    1,846.00
    +3.5%
    Platinum
    948.00
    +0.8%
    Brent Crude
    69.67
    +1.2%
    Top 40
    64,653
    +0.2%
    All Share
    71,138
    +0.2%
    Resource 10
    67,331
    -0.3%
    Industrial 25
    93,962
    +0.3%
    Financial 15
    13,974
    +0.6%
    All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
    Editorial feedback and complaints

    Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

    LEARN MORE