Hijacked man tells of two harrowing crime ordeals

PETRUS Mphasa is trying to put his life back together after he was hijacked and robbed on Friday night on a farm road near Felixton.

Formerly from Mpumalanga, the 40-year-old father of two has been working in the region for almost a year.
Mphasa told the ZO he had to bring his vehicle to a standstill when three men brandishing firearms appeared in the middle of the road shortly after 8pm.

‘I turned to go underneath the bridge and that’s when I saw three men standing in the middle of the road pointing guns at me.’

Mphasa said one of the suspects approached the driver’s side door of his 3 litre Toyota Hilux Dakar.

‘He opened the door and hit me with his gun on my shoulder. He demanded that I open the other door.

‘The other two men then came and opened the passenger door and one of them slapped me,’ said Mphasa.

The suspects made Mphasa drink some sort of fluid before they tied him up with rope.

‘I don’t know what they made me drink, but it immediately made me feel light-headed and dizzy. It had no taste.

‘They tied my hands and feet together and shoved me in the bakkie’s bin.

The rope used to tie Mphasa’s hands and feet was left scattered among the parts in his vehicle after the interior had been stripped

‘One guy sat there with me and made me lie face down and pointed the gun at me.

‘They asked me if I had a firearm and when I told them no, they said I was lying and started to look in the vehicle for it.

They took my wallet and my cellphones.

‘They asked if I had money in the bank and I told them that I didn’t as I am yet to get paid,’ he said.

The suspects later stopped on the side of the road where they began to strip the interior of the vehicle.

‘I could hear the two men inside the van stripping it. One guy even told me that they were nearly done and that I would have my vehicle back soon.’

Mphasa said that one of the suspects said that they should just shoot him, but another suspect argued against it and said that they should drop him off somewhere on their way out.

‘When they eventually did drop me off they cut the ropes with a knife and threw me off the back of my vehicle.

‘They gave me one of my cellphones back and some sort of object, which they told me to hold in my hand. I suspect it was the tracker device.

‘They also gave me my wallet back but had taken all my money.’

Cold and afraid, Mphasa had no idea where he had been dropped off but could see the lights of two homes in the distance and made his way there.

‘An elderly woman and young boy greeted me and helped me get into contact with the police and the vehicle tracking company.’

A case within a case

Mphasa’s vehicle was recovered the same night not far from Mtubatuba before it was sent to the Empangeni SAPS pound.

On Saturday he positively identified the vehicle, but on Monday Mphasa returned to the pound after he received an sms noting that his battery had been disconnected shortly after 2am on Monday morning.

‘When I saw my vehicle on Saturday the bonnet had not been tampered with,’ he told the ZO.

Mphasa had to then open another case of theft at the Empangeni Police Station after discovering his battery had been stolen from the pound. 

Police spokesperson for the King Cetshwayo District, Captain Mbongeni Mdlalose said he could not simply implicate any officer from his unit as there are thieves who cut through the wire fencing to steal from the police pound.

Orrin Singh

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