Seven-year-old girl among those killed in N4 spiking incidents in Gauteng: MEC

Concerted law enforcement deployments aim to combat the crime trend

08 June 2021 - 10:30 By naledi shange
Road-spiking incidents have claimed the lives of three people along the N4 in Gauteng.
Road-spiking incidents have claimed the lives of three people along the N4 in Gauteng.
Image: Twitter / @Abramjee

A seven-year-old girl is among three people who have lost their lives on the N4 because of the rising number of road-spiking incidents along that stretch of road.

Wandile Banyini died in a crash that occurred on the N4 near Pretoria in 2020. Leah Kwasha, 36, died in the same crash.

Two years earlier, Renald Lethaka, 27, had also died in a crash emanating from spiking.

Their names were revealed in a provincial legislature response given by community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko to questions posed by the DA.

Mazibuko’s responses revealed that the spiking incidents on the N4 have gone unabated for years, with a total of 141 cases having been reported in the past three years alone:

  • 21 cases in the 2018/2019 financial year;
  • 75 in the 2019/2020 financial year; and
  • 45 incidents in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Between April and May, eight incidents of road spiking were reported.

Mazibuko revealed that only six arrests had been made in connection with the incidents, but none had resulted in convictions.

While three people had lost their lives in the incidents, many others had fallen victim to heinous crimes after the spiking incidents.

Mazibuko said these spiking incidents were often coupled with sexual assaults, robberies (at times armed robberies), assaults, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

She said measures had been put in place to try to curb the problem:

  • more police officers, particularly from the flying squad, had been deployed to patrol the N4, R104 and R513 routes from 6pm to 6am;
  • Crime intelligence officers had been assigned to the cases; and
  • the department had invested more on media alerts in local newspapers and radio.

They had also requested the department of transport to intervene by providing more lighting on the roads.

The DA said the spiking incidents added to the woes of Gauteng motorists who were already endangered.

“Gauteng motorists already do not feel safe considering the increased rate of crime as revealed by the SAPS Gauteng crime statistics for the fourth quarter for the 2020/21 financial year. Car hijacking has increased from 2,290 cases in the 2019/20 financial year to 2,328 cases in the 2020/21 financial year,” the DA said in a statement.

“The pattern is the same with truck hijacking, with 144 cases in the previous financial year to 206 in the 2020/21 financial year.

“Driving at night is already a risky exercise for motorists due to no natural light, and they therefore do not deserve any further anxieties over possible spikes that could lead to them being victims of theft, hijackings or worse,” the party added.