Hijacking and an attempted murder case opened following an incident in Houghton

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HOUGHTON – The hijacked vehicle was recovered in Saxonwold shortly after the incident.

A case of hijacking and attempted murder was opened at the Norwood Police Station on 19 November following a shootout on 11th Avenue in Houghton.

A spokesperson for the Norwood Police Station, Captain Elliot Tshivhase said that around noon on 19 November, Trio Team officials were alerted to an incident on 11th Avenue in Houghton where a hijacking had taken place.

“The car was recovered shortly after the incident in Saxonwold. Fortunately, even though shots were fired at the Vision Tactical officers, no one was injured. However, a case of hijacking and attempted murder has been opened. The suspects have not been found but the case is currently under investigation,” said Tshivhase.

Director of Vision Tactical, Yaseen Theba said they were alerted by a member of the public about the four suspects driving a white Jetta who attempted to hijack a white VW Golf on the 11th Avenue bridge in Houghton.

“As our vehicle approached the suspects, they engaged in a shootout,” said Theba. The suspects then allegedly proceeded further down the road and successfully hijacked another vehicle on 11th Avenue, which was later recovered, thanks to Tracker and the Vision Tactical team.

“We want to thank the people who were quick enough to inform us of the incident. We will make every effort to stop these incidents. We regret that no arrests were made.”

3 popular cars targeted by South African hijackers

Vehicle hijacking has become a sophisticated business in South Africa, with criminals and syndicates targeting victims from shopping centres and other public places, and then robbing them of their vehicle and possessions in their driveway, or complex entrance.

In September, the South African Police Service published crime stats for 2018 (April 2017 – March 2018), showing that as many as 16,325 carjackings were committed  –  45 every day.

According to the South African president of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, Phillip Opperman, hijackers primarily target vehicles ‘to order’.

Speaking to eNCA’s Yusuf Abramjee, Opperman said that that there are typically two categories of vehicles being hijacked in South Africa – commercial vehicles which are hijacked for the load and high-value SUV vehicles which are hijacked according to order.

“It depends on the order and there isn’t actually a car that is popular as such,” he said.

When pushed by Abramjee, Opperman highlighted the following cars which have been targeted according to past orders:

  • Ford Ranger
  • Toyota Hilux
  • BMW X5

“As technology is increasing (hijackers) can no longer steal these cars so they have to hijack them to fulfil these orders,” he said.

Opperman added that there has been an increase in the number of incidences where hijacked motorists are held hostage and forced to withdraw money from an ATM by the hijackers.

“That is, unfortunately, one of their modus operandi and there has been an increase in (these cases),” he said.

“Not only are these hijackers holding them but women are raped and men are badly beaten – it’s a crisis,” Opperman said.

He said that while one criminal tries to uninstall a car’s tracking device, it enables other members of the unit to search the vehicle and its owner for additional items.

“They find cards and it acts as additional revenue – its a bonus,” he said.

Despite this issue, Opperman said it was still valuable to have a tracking device installed in your vehicle with 87% of these hijacked vehicles recovered.

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For Black Friday, Take This Shopping Safety List Along

When the busiest shopping weekend of the year arrives, if you’ll be joining the millions of shoppers, take some extra precautions to protect yourself, your purchases, and your personal information.

In the store

From fistfights to identity theft, shopping at Black Friday sales brings a few safety risks. Consider these holiday shopping safety tips:

  • Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside pocket or front pants pocket.
  • Don’t argue or fight over an item.
  • Don’t take your money out until asked to do so.
  • Use only one credit card at a time.
  • Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity.
  • Ask for help moving and loading large items if needed.
  • If shopping with children, select a central location to meet in case you are separated. Teach kids how to ask a security guard or employee for help if they’re lost.

In the car

With so many people out and about, you may encounter aggressive drivers on the road. Don’t add to the problem. Parking lots can be dangerous too, so be on guard:

  • Be patient when looking for a parking space. Don’t speed up to catch that empty (or soon-to-be empty) spot, and be cautious of other drivers who do.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
  • Look around and under your vehicle before approaching it.
  • Store shopping bags out of plain sight, in your trunk if possible.
  • Look for other cars or people, and drive out slowly.

On the Internet

Opting to join Black Friday or Cyber Monday from your couch? You still need to be on the lookout. Stick to retailers you know, and never commit to a deal that seems too good to be true.

Teacher hailed a hero after her quick thinking saved a pupil’s life

A Johannesburg teacher was praised after her quick thinking helped save a pupil, who was unresponsive following an alleged seizure.

Keneilwe Kgosiemang, an educator at Johannesburg Girls Preparatory school, downloaded an App, called Namola in August. The app aims to help citizens connect to emergency services in various dangerous situations. However, Kgosiemang had no idea she would use the App twice, just two weeks apart.

The teacher said she used Namola the first time after she was hijacked outside her Joburg home. On Thursday, two weeks later, one of her grade seven pupils collapsed in class. Kgosiemang saw the child was unresponsive.

Instead of panicking, the educator thought on her feet and pressed the panic button on her phone.

She was connected to a Namola Operator, whom got all the information on the child’s condition. “Ms Kgosiemang told me that the pupil was completely unresponsive after the seizure, her eyes were open but she wasn’t moving. I just knew that I had to find her the fastest help possible,” the Namola operator, who is also a mother of two, said.

The operator managed to get hold of an emergency service nearby and Vision Tactical’s Muhammed arrived on the scene. Only four minutes after Muhammed arrived, ER24 showed up and the child was taken care of.

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Quality of life improving in Gauteng, crime a big concern – survey

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Overall, the quality of life in Gauteng is improving, a new survey says. But crime has now surpassed corruption as the biggest concern for the province’s residents, with unemployment close behind it.

The fifth Gauteng City-Region Observatory’s (GCRO) Quality of Life Survey for 2017/2018 was launched at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Satisfaction with the government, since the last survey in 2015/2016, has improved, and this is true across all spheres of government, the survey shows.

The survey has been conducted every two years since 2009. GCRO executive director Rob Moore explained that the institution operates between government and academia, and is a partnership between the Gauteng government, Wits University and the University of Johannesburg.

He said the GCRO had the “independence and rigour” of the academic world while focusing its efforts on public policy. Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who attended the launch, said the provincial government pays close attention to this survey, and often uses it as a guideline for policy making.

The survey comprised over 28 000 interviews with 250 questions per interview. The interviews were conducted from October 31, 2017 to September 2018.

Not all municipalities doing well

Moore said that 44% of Gauteng residents were satisfied with provincial government’s performance, compared with 39% in the 2015/2016 survey.

“While this might seem low at first glance, the recent increase in satisfaction with provincial government is significant, and this sphere now commands more satisfaction than national government, at 43% satisfaction, and local government, at 38%,” Moore said.

Access to services such as piped water has also remained stable, at over 90% in the last decade. This should be noted in the context of high levels of population and household growth, said Moore.

However, there are discrepancies between municipalities. Ekurhuleni is “doing well” and Johannesburg has improved, albeit marginally, in many service areas, Moore said. But Emfuleni has declined in many respects, specifically in the area of refuse collection, the survey shows.

“Tshwane also seems to be struggling in some areas,” Moore said.

The survey also showed that for the first time in several years, crime is the number one concern of Gauteng residents. This is followed by unemployment, and drug and alcohol abuse. The results differed slightly across race groups, as coloured people reported that drugs were the biggest problem in their communities.

Increased levels of migration

Spatial inequality is also starkly illustrated by the survey, with poorer households still situated on the outskirts of cities. Residents in richer suburbs are more likely to send their children to private schools, the survey shows, and people living in a cluster house in a complex are more likely to report higher satisfaction levels with local government’s performance.

Makhura noted that the top-of-mind concern for residents had changed to crime, from corruption, several years ago. He said the provincial government had instituted several reforms at that time, including opening up its tender processes. But the one issue that stubbornly remains in the top three concerns of citizens in Gauteng is jobs, he said.

Makhura said Gauteng faced a “toxic combination” of economic decline and increased levels of migration into the province.

“There’s no part of the republic where a government is under such pressure to cope with the number of people entering the province,” he said. This meant that the number of informal settlements was increasing alongside increased levels of urbanisation, he said, and the pressure on government to cope with infrastructure provision alone was “huge”.

“Given that toxic combination, we could be doing better. Or, put differently, if government was not doing its best, the decline in services would be more dramatic. Even the small municipalities expect huge numbers to be coming in every year,” said Makhura.