5-hour blue light hijack horror
Pretoria - When Centurion resident Obed Motsepe pulled over at the signal of a blue-light vehicle and was approached by two men dressed in SAPS gear, he had no idea this was going to be a five-hour nightmare.
The World Bank employee, 47, had just crossed an intersection on a Rooihuiskraal Road, slowing down his Range Rover Evoque to almost a dead stop at a stop sign, but not stopping as a precaution against being hijacked.
“I heard a siren and saw a blue light flashing, which I ignored,” he told the Pretoria News.
But the car started signalling again that he should stop. When he did two men clad in police uniform approached his car and started harassing him for not stopping.
They ordered him out of the car. After interrogating and searching him they told him they were arresting him. “I asked them if I could make a call, but as I bowed my head to look at the phone one of them hit me in the face with the butt of a gun. They held my hands behind my back and frog-marched me to my car.”
They pushed him inside and on to the floor between the front and back seats, one jumping into the driver’s seat, the other in the back.
He said: “The one held a gun to my head and had his foot on my stomach. They were shouting at me to co-operate if I wanted to live.”
The driver said Motsepe should be shot and left at the side of the road. But the other argued against it. His wallet was taken, checked and he was asked for his personal details. They accused him of being a drug dealer or a tenderpreneur and refused to accept that he held a normal job.
“They were very hostile,” he said. One asked if he understood what was going on. “It hit me then that I was being hijacked.”
In hindsight, he thought he should have driven off to stop at a petrol station. “But I knew I had to co-operate to save my life.”
What followed was three hours of being cramped between seats, being interrogated with the barrel of a gun trained on his face or body.
The men told him, at one point, that he had been set up by someone who wanted him dead. “Later they said this was their job, how they made a living – all they wanted was my car and money,” he said.
“I went along so they became less aggressive. I just wanted them to dump me to get out of the situation.”
Several stops were made. At one stage, it was to pick up a man who immediately started tampering behind the back seat where the engine is. At the next stop, Motsepe was told he was being transferred to another car and his life would be spared. “They instructed me to turn over, cover my eyes and face downwards.”
He was bundled into the boot of another car. Both cars drove off.
“It was now two different guys, one drove and the other sat in the back shining a torch at me through an opening in the seat.”
At the next stop he was told that he was being dumped. He was told to lie on his stomach and to wait to be told to leave by someone who would be watching him. He lay there for a while and got up when he realised there was no one.
Confusion set in: “We had driven around for so long I could have been in Vereeniging or Mpumalanga.”
After several failed attempts to stop cars he started wailing, eventually coming across a sign indicating Pretoria and Brits. “The relief of seeing that I was in familiar land was overwhelming. I started walking towards Pretoria West.”
But the walk was long, the road dark and cars did not stop. Eventually he was recognised by a passenger in a car that stopped for him and taken to the Soshanguve police station where he opened a case.
y the end of last week tracker company Netstar said they could not trace his car beyond 3am that Saturday; phone network MTN could not pick up the signal for his phone and four transactions had been made on his bank cards and credit cards.
Up until last week the police had given him no indication that an investigation was in progress.
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said: “In the normal course of events he would have been given the name and number of the investigating officer and regular updates.”