A man hailing from Madadeni, KwaZulu-Natal, now faces a long 15 years’ imprisonment for his role in the hijacking of a bread truck. According to Colonel Thembeka Mbele, the hijacking took place on 27 April 2019, while the truck driver and his assistant were doing their rounds, delivering bread. It was while the two men were focusing on their work, that the accused, Vumani Victor Gama and Mjey Miya, struck.
Offering some insight on the matter, Colonel Mbele states, “They hijacked them and the truck with thousands of loaves of bread and cash at gunpoint.”
Following the incident, a case of carjacking was opened at the Osizweni Police Station for investigation and not long after the case was officially opened, both men were arrested and taken into custody.
During the arrest, Colonel Mbele explained that Gama was found with a firearm and ammunition in his possession. For this, the Madadeni Regional Court sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment for carjacking and for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. Miya was sentenced to eight years for carjacking.
As the two men face jail time for the carjacking, Lizzy Arumugam of Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications, explains there are steps people can take to minimise the chances of falling victim to vehicle-related crimes.
These steps include:
- Always lock your vehicle’s doors and avoid leaving your windows open. Arumugam adds, “Do not leave your vehicle unlocked, even if you think you will be away for only a minute.”
- If a stranger wants to talk to you while you are in your vehicle, Arumugam states you should never open your window fully. She claims opening your window 5cm is enough to have a discussion—Adding, “If something seems suspicious, do not talk to strangers, rather be rude and drive away.”
- If possible, it is vital to change your route regularly. This is to ensure criminals cannot establish a pattern.
- It is also important to highlight that carjackers may stage a minor accident so they can approach your car. Arumugam explains, “If your car is bumped from behind, and you do not feel comfortable with the individual(s) involved in the situation, drive to the nearest police station for help.”
While these simple steps might help in your daily life, there is always a chance that you will still fall victim.
If you are hijacked, Arumugam explains, “Do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything behind if forced from the car. Your life is more valuable than your possessions.”
She concludes in stressing, it is instrumental that you avoid resisting, especially if the perpetrator has a weapon—“Give up your vehicle with no questions asked and move away.”
As you know, you live in a country whereby crime is a way of life and convictions for numerous offences vary dramatically; therefore, during this festive period, be conscious and think, as it could be the difference between life and death.
Author: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer