The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned that the Mpumalanga provincial government is too silent as an armed gang is causing havoc on the N4 and N12 Highways by spiking vehicles where victims are robbed of valuables.
According to reports, 24 such incidents of spiking were reported in Mpumalanga between 1 April and 18 May (2021). The police have also warned that these incidents happen especially on Friday evenings and throughout the weekend between 18h00 and 04h00 in the morning.
What concerns the DA is that the Mpumalanga provincial government has not come out to officially condemn such incidents or act upon them.
The DA understands that the N4 and N12 are National Routes and fall under national jurisdiction. But Mpumalanga residents are mostly the victims of the vehicle spiking incidents, so we call on the provincial MEC of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe, to engage with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to deploy additional officers to help the Highway Patrol Unit on the routes identified as hotspots.
The following routes have been identified as hotspots for such acts:
• Phola/Ogies on the N12 near Arbor off-ramp;Delmas along the N12;
• Bronkorstspruit towards Witbank along the N4 highway;
• Belfast on the N4 next to Wonderfontein and Acornhoek in Matsikitsane area;
• Witbank on Dellville Street, Verena Road and the R555 Old Ogies Road;
• Calcutta area, the R40 around Marite area.
• N4 highway in Middelburg, Bethal and Kendall;
The DA also understands that the Highway Patrol Unit and the SAPS cannot be everywhere to monitor the hotspots, so we also ask ordinary community members to assist by being vigilant, extremely cautious, and to quickly report any suspicious activities on the N4 and N12 Highways. The Mpumalanga government must put all necessary resources to act against this gang as this would also discourage tourists from visiting our province – which might lead to loss of revenue and discourage job opportunities in the tourism sector.
According to a police report, the vehicle spiking gang is not stationary, but move from one area to the other where the roads are quiet to rob motorists of their hard-earned cash and other belongings.
It has also been reported that the spiking gang is using two vehicles. One of the vehicles is used to follow around victims who do not stop after hitting the spikes.