KZN police mum on rock-throwing stats

2018-01-11 16:11
A rock that pierced a Durban driver's car. (Supplied, Mduduzi Nxumalo)

A rock that pierced a Durban driver's car. (Supplied, Mduduzi Nxumalo)

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Durban – KwaZulu-Natal police are unable to release the number of highway rock-throwing incidents, saying that "they amount to crime statistics which are the prerogative of only the Minister of Police to release".

There have been several rock-throwing incidents along the province's highways since December 2017, especially the N2, from Durban to the north of the province.

Two people died along the N2 highway in Umhlali, north of Durban, when a large rock was allegedly thrown from an overhead bridge onto their car at the end of December.

A woman and her seven-year-old brother died during the incident, police confirmed.

Read: Boy, 7, and woman killed after rock smashes car on N2

They had been travelling with their father at the time.

In another incident, a motorist was taken to hospital on Saturday, January 6, when a huge rock was allegedly thrown onto his car, also from an overhead bridge on the N2 between Ballito and Tongaat, north of Durban.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane on Thursday said police have identified the overhead bridge between Ballito and Tongaat as a rock-throwing hotspot.

"Visible policing members have been tasked to patrol the area on a 24-hour basis to prevent similar incidents. The SAPS provincial management is meeting with other security departments and the Department of Transport to discuss measures of preventing these crimes," he told News24.

Follow-up meeting to take place

Explaining whether there have been any breakthroughs, Zwane said: "Six juveniles were taken in for questioning, but were later released due to lack of evidence."

The six teenagers – aged 15 - were taken in for questioning this week after they were found near the bridge.

Zwane said the matters were still under investigation.

KZN transport, community Safety and liaison spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa told News24 the department would soon hold a follow-up meeting with concerned MECs, South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) officials, police and mayors from affected areas.

"A meeting with relevant stakeholders has already been held, but there'll be a follow-up meeting soon where a plan to curb such incidents would be unveiled," he said.

He said police have also developed a plan but it cannot be revealed before the follow-up meeting.

"Police are already patrolling two areas that have been identified as hotspots along the N2 highway. I cannot divulge all the areas before the meeting takes place, but two hotspots have been identified between Ballito and Tongaat," Mntungwa said.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has also condemned the incidents.

Sanco called on provincial authorities to put in place "extraordinary measures" that will curb such incidents.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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