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DA campaign vehicle stolen: 'Cops failed us'

20 January 2019 - 18:42 By Nonkululeko Njilo
The DA's campaigning vehicle, here shown with the party's KZN leadership, was stolen in the early hours of Sunday January 20.
The DA's campaigning vehicle, here shown with the party's KZN leadership, was stolen in the early hours of Sunday January 20.
Image: Supplied

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Kwazulu-Natal expressed disappointment at the response by police when it opened a case of vehicle theft on Sunday. 

“The police really failed us. If they have failed us as [a party], imagine how much they have failed the citizens of this country who have been raped, hijacked or attacked," said eThekwini municipal councillor Sithembiso Ngema. 

The fully-branded Toyota Quantum vehicle was stolen from Ngema’s home in the early hours of Sunday.

“It was parked on my premises; I last saw it around 4am before I went to bed. 

“Around 6:30am in the morning, I looked through the window and it was not there,” he said. 

Ngema said he had notified the provincial leadership, including the party's premier candidate Zwelakhe Mncwango, who had opened a case with the Berea police station.

The leadership took the search to social media platforms to seek assistance to recover the stolen vehicle.   

“Within 30 minutes of posting it online I received a call from a man who claimed to have spotted the vehicle. I rushed to the police to inform them as we had opened a case.   

“All they did was ask questions on who the man was and advised us not to follow the lead as they would investigate.”   

Ngema recalled how the police refused to accompany them to follow up on the lead. 

“We had to make a few phone calls and one person organised private security. We then met with the man – who did not give us his name for his safety – and found the vehicle at the destination he pointed to us,” he said. 

“We called the police and alerted them that the we had found the vehicle and waited for them to come and do their work because we are not experts,” Ngema said.   

Ngema said if it was not for the private company, the party would not have been able to recover the vehicle, which it uses on a daily basis.

“The police have all resources - guns, vehicles, petrol, bullet proofs [vests] etc, but they are just not proactive. They do not understand the trauma and frustration that comes with being a victim of crime,” he added.

When TimesLIVE contacted the Berea police station with the case number, a police officer said the media liaison officer and manager of the station did not work on weekends and they were unable to give comment. 

He however confirmed that a case of vehicle theft had been opened on Sunday morning and said it would be investigated by the police's vehicle theft unit.