A man has been arrested following an alleged kidnapping attempt in Cape Town on Thursday.
A 26-year-old woman was allegedly forced into a vehicle after being stopped by a traffic official in Philippi East, said police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut.
“While standing on the side of the road, suspects in a white Hyundai minibus forced her into the vehicle and sped off,” he added.
The incident has been described in a voice note, widely shared on social media, by a woman who claims she saw the kidnapping take place just after 17:00.
She described how a woman was pulled over by a uniformed traffic official, and while talking to him, was grabbed by three men who were driving a white van.
“When they pulled her into the vehicle, I just saw her feet and heard her scream,” the witness said.
She described how the traffic official got into his car and drove off in the opposite direction.
City of Cape Town Safety and Security acting executive director Wayne le Roux confirmed the incident had taken place on the R300. He said a traffic officer saw two vehicles pull up during his engagement with the woman, and two or three suspects approached him.
“He moved to his patrol vehicle to try and call for back-up, as he was unarmed. The City’s traffic officers have the option of carrying a firearm, but some decline for fear of being targeted,” Le Roux added.
During this time, the assailants grabbed the victim and sped off in the direction of the N2.
After witnessing the woman being pulled into the vehicle, the traffic officer called for back-up via his radio, and then drove to the Philippi East police station “to raise the alarm”, said Le Roux.
The police, who responded to the traffic officer’s call, found the woman’s car at the scene and were then notified of a nearby accident involving the getaway car.
“I saw the vehicle driving very [recklessly] and at some point, it was slightly on two wheels because it was driving from side to side.
“It bumped into a few other cars and it almost flipped over. And then they took the Hindle Road turnoff… They [were driving] on the yellow line and hit a car and then they went into a ditch. All I saw was dust everywhere,” the witness said.
The witness then saw the woman escape the vehicle and run away, stopping motorists for help.
Traut said: “The vehicle was involved in an accident on Hindle Road while being pursued by authorities and came to a standstill. The victim managed to escape unharmed.”
Metro police TRU members, who were on patrol on the R300, then tracked down a 34-year-old suspect who was positively identified by the victim, added Le Roux.
The other suspects managed to evade arrest.
“The circumstances surrounding a kidnapping are being investigated,” said Traut.