NATIONAL NEWS - A determined quest to seize unlicensed firearms in KZN resulted in a positive outcome after police officers not only arrested a suspect, found in possession of an illegal 9mm pistol, but also rescued a taxi driver, who was taken on a terror ride after being hijacked.
The arrest was effected in Isipingo. On Thursday night, police officers were conducting crime prevention duties along Ntshebeyumbuzi Road when they spotted a vehicle parked in Malukazi with all four doors opened.
The suspects noticed the approaching police officers and jumped out of the vehicle to flee into nearby bushes.
The men in blue pursued the suspects and within minutes, were able to apprehend one suspect, who was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm.
While the police searched for the remaining suspects, they heard a bang at the back seat of the vehicle and found a 35-year-old taxi driver. Upon questioning the driver, he informed police officers that he received a request to fetch clients in the Mobeni area and proceeded to the said location.
When he arrived at the destination, two suspects jumped into the vehicle and ordered the victim to drive towards Malukazi. As he was driving, one of the suspects withdrew a firearm and forced the driver to move to the back seat.
One of the suspects then got behind the wheel. The suspects thereafter picked up a further two men in the area and began stripping the vehicle. It was at this point that they were distracted by the patrolling police officers.
Cases of carjacking and kidnapping are being investigated at Bayview SAPS. The arrested man will appear in court for possession of the stolen property, possession of an unlicensed firearm, carjacking and kidnapping.
Lt Gen Khombinkosi Jula, KZN’s provincial commissioner, hailed police officers for the arrest.
“It is very comforting to know that the kidnap and hijacking victim has been rescued from these ruthless criminals. The police officers, who came across this incident due to their proactive operations and pursued these criminals, are commended,” he concluded.