Residents attack suspects after botched hijacking

Khanyisani Dlomo, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - Two suspected criminals were badly beaten by a mob after a botched hijacking in Cato Ridge at the weekend.

The two are understood to have crashed their stolen car and were overrun by the angry crowd.

A toy gun used in the hijacking did little to ward off the throngs.

Eyewitness Neville Mipping, an operations manager at Achievers Security, said a Dunbar Spar worker was about to enter his Toyota Yaris, which was in the supermarket parking lot, when he was accosted by the two.

Mipping said the duo, aged 18 and 21, forced him into the passenger seat of his car before speeding off. Their escape was cut short when the driver lost control at the entrance of Killarney Valley Road and the car overturned.

“The community had chased the vehicle before it crashed. They beat one suspect with metal pipes, sticks and other objects, while another suspect managed to escape,” he said.

“While at the scene I saw the second suspect limping about a kilometre away from us and the community went berserk on him and arrested him before police arrived.”

He said the plastic firearm was seized.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the injured victim was taken to hospital for treatment. “Police recovered a toy firearm that was used to threaten the victim. Detectives at Camperdown are investigating a hijacking. Both suspects will remain in custody and are expected to appear in court soon.”

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