Home » Blog » Hijacking In South Africa: Vital Tips to Save Your Life in a Potential Hijacking
In South Africa, hijacking is a crime of preference, which has evolved into a fine art, often performed in the wink of an eye.
It’s a situation none of us would want to face, but when it does happen it’s important to know how best to react. According to experts, fighting back is not the answer. No car is ever worth your, or someone else’s, life.
Hijackers will not hesitate to kill the driver and occupants of a vehicle to get hold of vehicle or payload, or both. Vehicles seized during hijackings are frequently used to commit others like cash-in-transit heists or kidnappings. Most hijacked vehicles are, however, delivered to syndicates who dismantle, re-sprayed, change engine and chassis numbers of the stolen vehicles and then smuggle them to neighbouring countries. Here they are sold and registered, using fraudulent documentation and often help from inside the registering authority. Many stolen vehicles are also sold and registered in the same manner locally.
Tips to avoid a potential hijacking situation:
2km from your house, be extra alert, switch off the car radio and concentrate on your surroundings
Remember to stop your vehicle just on the inside of the gate and select reverse whilst waiting for the gate to close. This creates confusion and may buy you a few seconds for the gate to close completely behind you
Check your driveway and street before you leave or enter your premises. Make sure the driveway is well lit and clear from shrubbery where perpetrators can hide
Be aware of unknown pedestrians close to your residential address – do not turn into your driveway – pass and go back later
If a suspicious person bumps your car from behind, don’t get out. Rather drive to the nearest police station
Don’t get out of your car to remove pamphlets from under your wipers. Criminals wait for you to get out of your car, with the key still in the ignition, and then jump in
Always keep your car window a little open (Between 2-5 cm). It is more difficult to break than an entirely closed window
Avoid listening to loud music while you are driving. You should be alert to what is going on around you at all times
Always reserved your fuel tank at least a quarter full. In an emergency, you may have to drive for a distance
When you stop at robots, always leave enough space between the car in front of you and behind you. You would have more space to move your car if you have to get away in a hurry
Never valuable possessions in sight. It’s an open invitation to criminals to break your window and gain entry to your car
And this may sound obvious but so many drivers neglect to do it: Always lock your doors
Things to remember in a hijacking situation:
Do not lose your temper, threaten or challenge the hijacker. Do exactly as told by the hijackers.
Do not resist, especially if the hijacker has a weapon.
Surrender your vehicle and move away. Try to put as much distance between yourself and the hijacker(s) as quickly as possible.
Keep your hands visible to the hijacker. Do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything in the vehicle.
Do not make eye contact with the hijacker. He may perceive this behaviour as a threat and retaliate aggressively.
Do not speak too fast (if you are able to talk) and do not make sudden movements.
Gather as much information as possible without posing a threat.
How many people?
How many firearms and description thereof?
What were the perpetrators wearing (clothing)?
To which direction did they drive off?
Take note of the language they use (the accent) or distinctive features such as tattoos or piercings
If taken hostage – It can be helpful to have a survival plan in the back of your mind should such an incident occur. It is difficult not to become paranoid about being taken, hostage. However, it is just as easy to become complacent.
First phone the SA Police Service on 08600 10111. They will dispatch the medical services if needed. Other emergency numbers you could phone are 112 ANY Network (MTN+Cell C+Telkom) or 147 Vodacom ONLY.
Activate the vehicle tracking device if the vehicle is fitted with one.
NOSA Logistics offers a comprehensive anti-hijacking workshop that is designed to equip learner’s with practical exercises and solutions to avoid a possible hijacking situation. Intense focus is placed on the learner’s assertiveness of his/her everyday environment.
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