Two suspects, aged 19 and 23, are set to appear in the Mooiriver Magistrates’ Court on Monday next week following their arrest yesterday in Estcourt for carjacking.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said: “On 14 December 2016 at about 12:30 a 45-year-old man, his wife and two children were in their vehicle and driving along the road at Giant’s Castle in the Mooiriver area. They came across an area where the road had been blocked with rocks and tree branches. As the father got out of the vehicle to open the road two men armed with a firearm, knives and a hammer accosted the family.”
He added: “The suspects climbed into the car and drove around with the family until late afternoon when they stopped at a garage in Lyell Street, Ladysmith, and the family managed to get an opportunity to escape from the vehicle and ran, but a nine-year-old boy was not successful in his escape. The suspects then fled in the vehicle with the child still inside.”
Police and traffic officers were alerted of the incident, while SA Secure broadcast the details of the vehicle to members of the public.
A member of the public managed to keep an eye on the movements of the vehicle and police personnel from various police stations in the area, together with traffic officers and members of the public gave chase.
A short while later the vehicle was boxed in along the N3 at the Wagendrift turnoff at Estcourt. The joint actions of all those involved resulted in the rescue of the child, the arrest of the two suspects and the recovery of the vehicle.
Police discovered two knives, a hammer and a firearm, which was found to be a toy gun, inside the vehicle. The child was treated and reunited with his family. The case will be investigated by Mooiriver police.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Major-General Bheki Langa praised police and members of the community for swiftly responding to the complaint and arrested the suspects.
“Our detectives will ensure that they bring all evidence to the court so that the suspect will be prosecuted and receive a sentence they deserve. The recovered firearm will be sent for ballistics tests to establish if they were used in any other crimes in the province,” he said.
– Caxton News Service