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2021/09/07      |  Written By:  Captain L Jonker   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

Cofimvaba 6 September 2021:  Having an attentive mind and taking one’s vocation seriously paid off when an off duty data typist  from SAPS Cofimvaba recognised the registration number of a hijacked vehicle being circulated while she was on night shift, the previous night.

It is alleged that on Sunday,  5 September 2021, Ms Sindiswa Phunzi was off duty and was on her way to a funeral in the Mncuncuzo locality in Cofimvaba when she noticed an abandoned white Toyota Hilux LDV on the side of the road.

She had remembered having registered a Toyota Hilux bakkie which was hijacked during the early hours of Saturday morning, 4 September and decided to approach the vehicle and investigate. She contacted SAPS Cofimvaba and reported her suspicion to them and waited at the vehicle until her colleagues arrived.  Her intuition was spot on and the vehicle was positive as the hijacked bakkie.

It is alleged that the bakkie was hijacked during the early hours of Saturday morning, 4/09 at  00:10. It is alleged that the complainant(28) was waiting  in front of his house  for someone to open the gate for him when he was surprised by two unknown men who pointed him with firearms and ordered him to move to the middle. Both suspects got in and drove off with him. At some stage, while they were travelling towards Engcobo, the complainant was pistol whipped on his ear and ordered to get out of the bakkie. He only sustained minor injuries.

The vehicle was towed to Cofimvaba police station  for further investigation.

Acting Chris Hani District Commissioner, Brigadier Mabel Magqashela commended  Ms Phunzi for following her instinct which led to the recovered hijacked vehicle. SAPS personnel performing administrative duties play an integral role in support of operational policing. Efforts in making South Africa a much better and safer place should be engraved in every employee of the SAPS and this includes the Public Service Act personnel. The alertness of Ms Phunzi  is indicative that she is compassionate about her work  and she is an example of a police service that cares,’ stated Brig Magqashela.