Hijack horror for former Cape ANC leader
Mcebisi Skwatsha describes being held up at gunpoint, robbed and locked in house
“YOU are lucky to see me,” provincial ANC heavyweight Mcebisi Skwatsha declared this week after falling prey to armed attackers who robbed him of his hired car in Soshanguve, near Pretoria.
The former leader of the party in the Western Cape was attacked last weekend by three men, two with knives and one with a gun.
He said he was with his cousins Kenneth and Xolelwa Skwatsha, and his aunt Nodumisani Skwatsha, walking towards Xolelwa’s home in Soshanguve at about 9pm on November 1.
He said the group were forced into Xolelwa’s home, then robbed of their cellphones.
Their attackers locked them in, before fleeing in the hire car, which was parked outside.
Skwatsha said he was there to attend the funeral of Mphelelezandleni Dladla, the father of his sister-in-law Nondaka, the following day.
After spending some time with his brother Taba, Nondaka and other relatives in Soshanguve as they prepared for the funeral, he and the others had left.
They stopped at Xolelwa’s house and got out of the car.
“That’s when these young boys pounced on us. They demanded cellphones and car keys. We gave our belongings to them. They locked us in the house and then they left.
“I think a neighbour helped us to open the house, but I was not in my right state of mind so I can’t say. It was very scary,” he recalled.
“If it took five minutes, it was a lot. Tsotsis do what they want to do and leave as quickly as possible, because the longer they stay the more trouble they could get into.
“As soon as they got the car keys, which were not even with me, but with my cousin, they were gone,” Skwatsha said.
At first he had believed their attackers were friends of his relatives, following them.
“In the beginning, they looked friendly and we didn’t think they were coming to attack us, but it was all a ploy to corner us,” he said.
The robbery was reported to the Soshanguve police station, even though Skwatsha said he doubted he would be able to identify the attackers.
Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila confirmed the robbery. He said no one had been arrested and the vehicle had not been recovered.
Skwatsha told the Weekend
‘In the beginning, they looked friendly and we didn’t think they were coming to attack us’
Argus he’d originally believed the attackers targeted his hire car because it had an ND registration number, and they thought it would be easier to get away.
But at the police station, he said he spoke to other Soshanguve residents whose cars had also been stolen.
The other residents also told him it was “normal” for these kinds of robberies to occur at the end of the month.
“The only positive thing about it was the professional assistance at the police station,” Skwatsha said.
“One hears stories about the police’s lacklustre response, but in this case they immediately assisted us and took our statements. They didn’t know who I was.”
Skwatsha said he would be “very careful” when he visited his family in Soshanguve again.
And his advice to others in a similar situation? “Be calm. It’s best not to fight back, because your life is more precious than a wallet or a car.”
● Crime statistics for the period April 2012 to March this year showed that 65 hijackings and 236 robberies with aggravating circumstances occurred in Soshanguve.
HIJACKED: ANC MPL Mcebisi Skwatsha recounts how he was robbed.