Road spikes a cause for concern in MPU

Road spikes a cause for concern in MPU

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GK CRONJE

1 June 2021

If you are stopped by a traffic officer, demand to see their appointment certificate to verify if such an officer is employed by the relevant traffic authority.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned that the Mpumalanga provincial government is too silent as an armed gang is causing havoc on the N4 and N12 highways by spiking vehicles where victims are robbed of valuables. More than 24 incidents of spiking were reported in Mpumalanga between 1 April and 18 May 2021. The police have also warned that these incidents happen especially on Friday evenings and throughout the weekend between 18:00 and 04:00 in the morning. Mpumalanga residents are mostly the victims of the vehicle spiking incidents, so the DA calls on the provincial MEC of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe, to engage with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to deploy additional officers to help the Highway Patrol Unit on the routes identified as hotspots. Phola/Ogies on the N12 near Arbor off-ramp, Delmas along the N12, Bronkorstspruit towards Witbank along the N4 highway, Belfast on the N4 next to Wonderfontein and Acornhoek in Matsikitsane area, Witbank on Dellville Street, Verena Road and the R555 Old Ogies Road, Calcutta area, the R40 around Marite area and the N4 highway in Middelburg, Bethal and Kendall have been identified as hotspots for the spiking activities. It has been reported that the spiking gang is using two vehicles.

One of the vehicles is used to follow around victims who do not stop after hitting the spikes. Of late, residents in the approximate area have also been warned of road spikes, most notably roads leading to Breyten, Piet Retief, Amersfoort and Chrissiesmeer. The N17 towards Bethal has also been identified as concerning. Never stop your vehicle if you had a puncture while spiked, instead drive slowly to the nearest garage while contacting the SAPS. If you are stopped by a traffic officer, demand to see their appointment certificate to verify if such an officer is employed by the relevant traffic authority.

In case the officer fails to produce his or her appointment certificate, take down the registration number of the patrol vehicle and report them immediately to the nearest police station. If your vehicle has had a complete break down on the road, remain in the vehicle with your doors locked while seeking assistance. Do not allow any person to tow your vehicle without written permission. Should you realize that another motorist has been spiked in your presence, kindly stop and give the necessary assistance.