Gift of the Givers bakkie hijacked in Soweto

2020-02-11 09:57
The Gift of the Givers bakkie that was hijacked on Tuesday.

The Gift of the Givers bakkie that was hijacked on Tuesday. (Supplied: Gift of the Givers)

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A bakkie belonging to disaster relief group Gift of the Givers, used to transport audiologists and equipment to schools, was hijacked in Soweto on Tuesday morning.

According to the organisation's regional director Allauddin Sayed, driver Lebohang Thongkha, 26, left his home in Soweto at around 05:00 when he was hijacked by two men.

"Lebo drives the team of audiologists to various schools. He was leaving his home in Soweto [on Tuesday] morning and as he pulled out of his driveway, he was forcefully taken out of the vehicle," Sayed told News24.

ALSO READ | Gift of the Givers to deliver fodder to drought-stricken Eastern Cape farmers

"The hijackers then took off with the vehicle, a branded Toyota Hilux 4x4 bakkie."

Sayed says the vehicle was tracked with the help of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and the SA Police Service (SAPS).

JMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the operation took just 17 minutes. 

"We received the call at 06:06 and by 06:23 we had tracked the vehicle with the help of Netstar," Minnaar said. 

"The only thing that was taken was the canopy, which was found along the railway line in Soweto. They took out the tracking device as well," Sayed said. 

'Shaken up'

Sayed could not say whether anything else was stolen, as the bakkie had been taken to the tracking company's compound in Lenasia.

"Our team is on the way there."

Thongkha was safe and unharmed, although his phone was taken during the ordeal.

"He was just a bit shaken up," Sayed said.

ALSO READ | 'Way beyond the urgency and emergency phase', Gift of the Givers 'battle' with worsening Eastern Cape drought

Three years ago, one of Gift of the Givers' vehicles was also hijacked in Soweto.

"Our driver was taken to an isolated place and was found after three hours. The vehicle was later found and had been stripped of engine parts."

Gift of the Givers is a global humanitarian organisation which has to date contributed R2.8bn in aid to 43 countries.

This includes disaster intervention, the establishment of search-and-rescue, aquatic and medical teams, and 20 other categories of projects.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  hijackings

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