Mpumalanga police say they have launched a manhunt for suspects who hijacked and robbed MEC for human settlements, Speedy Mashilo, of a rifle and R25 000 in cash.
Mashilo was driving on the R568 road between Ekangala and KwaMhlanga on Thursday when the hijacking happened.
“According to the information police received, Speedy Mashilo was driving his Toyota Hilux bakkie on the R568 road between Ekangala and KwaMhlanga at around 12:00 when he was suddenly overtaken by a BMW sedan with one visible occupant,” spokesperson of the Mpumalanga police, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said.
Mohlala said Mashile was forced to stop suddenly, when two unknown occupants [from the BMW] he could not identify, pointed guns at him.
“He was then forced into their BMW and [they] drove off with him while the other suspect was driving his bakkie. The hijackers then drove towards the East Rand with him. They then went into a particular house in a township where they took him into another car. Later on, they drove towards Olifantsfontein (Thembisa) and dropped him in a secluded area at around 20:00.” said Mohlala.
He said the MEC was robbed off R25 000 in a bag and a hunting rifle and ammunitions.
“The suspects robbed him of his Toyota Hilux, bank cards, brown bag (with R25 000 inside), groceries, wallet and licensed hunting rifle with 25 rounds of ammunition.” said Mohlala.
Mashilo walked to the nearby road where he was assisted by a passing security vehicle.
The police opened a case of car hijacking at the Thembisa police station, which was transferred to the KwaMhlanga police station for investigation.
“We appeal to members of the public who may have information to contact the nearest police station, or call our crime stop number on 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.” said Mohlala.
The ANC in the Nkangala region where Mashile is chairperson has condemned the incident and urged police to swiftly arrest the suspects. It’s not clear why Mashilo was driving alone.