[Fwd: Cops fail hijack victims]

Cops fail hijack victims
May 27 2011 at 07:45am
By Graeme Hosken

Allegedly hijacked by police and driven around for hours before being
faced with execution, a Pretoria father of three is battling a year
later to get the SAPS to investigate the attack.

After spending thousands of rands, Piet Erasmus, 52, says he has done
more in the past few months in investigating his brush with death than
the police have done in the past year.

Erasmus was travelling to Polokwane in his Mercedes-Benz when he was
hijacked on the N1 near the Murrayhill Toll Plaza in January last year
by four men driving a marked police Golf GTI fitted with emergency
lights and a siren.

The men, who have not been caught, have, according to police, allegedly
been responsible for 100 such attacks on that stretch of highway.

Police have slammed Erasmus and his attorney, Delia de Vries, saying
they have not forgotten his case.

Hammanskraal police station spokeswoman Constable Mkvotso Mphenyeke said
although no arrests had been made, the case was being investigated.

"The car was recently found abandoned in Joburg and the complainant went
to identify it," she said.

Investigating officer Warrant Officer Hendrik Sebola said he was doing
everything in his power to catch the culprits. "Erasmus is one of 100
such victims of hijackings by these suspects. We are investigating all
these cases so we can catch these suspects, who we are not even sure are
real policemen.

"What we do know is that every time there is such an attack those who
carry out the hijackings are dressed like police."

De Vries and Erasmus believe that if the police were interested in the
attacks they could solve his case.

Erasmus said he was forced to stop after the police car raced up behind
him with its lights flashing and its siren on.

Getting out of the car, Erasmus was confronted by two men in police

"They were armed with sidearms, wearing the SAPS uniform and reflector
vests with 'Police' written on them.

"Their vehicle had a siren and was fitted with blue lights on the roof,
dashboard and in the grille and it was marked with police insignia.

"The policemen told me that they were looking for a car that fitted my
vehicle's description.

"As I opened the boot two men in civilian clothes got out of the police
car. As they ran at me one of the policemen pulled out his gun and
shoved it into my ribs.

"One of the civilians grabbed my keys and drove off with my car.

"The policemen pushed me into their car and sped off with me."

After driving around for three hours the men eventually made Erasmus get
out of the car. With his hands tied behind his back, he was made to
kneel on the ground.

"When they took out their gun I thought that this was it."

Praying, Erasmus was saved when two teachers on their way to school
drove towards them, prompting the gunmen to flee.

Erasmus said he had waited for feedback from the police for months.

"No one came to me. I got so frustrated with their pathetic attitude
that I began my own investigation with the help of a police friend."

Gathering cellphone records for his SIM card, Erasmus began to trace his

"I got documents, telephone numbers and other information. I phoned the
investigator, but he was not interested."

The final straw for Erasmus was when Gauteng Flying Squad members
recovered his car in Joburg in February.

"I got a call and went with the investigator to identify my car. I
immediately recognised it and when I opened it I found utility bills and
receipts inside.

"The investigator was not interested and when I confronted him he just
told me to take my car."

Determined to get justice, Erasmus continued with his own investigation.

"I found out where the utility bills were from, I discovered that the
businesses from where the receipts were from had CCTV footage of those
driving my car, but still the police were not interested.

"I don't understand it. How can they not be interested in evidence which
could help catch these thugs?

"It is clear that they are not interested in catching their own and
putting them behind bars, but I am and I will get justice."

De Vries, who has served a letter of demand on the Police Ministry,
said: "Police are paid to catch criminals, but they are not interested
in doing their jobs.

"One would think police would want to solve crimes, even if it means
turning on their own." - Pretoria News



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