Fears of highway rock-throwing menace is on rise
FEARS that people throwing rocks at vehicles on Durban roads are becoming a growing trend after four motorists complained about such attacks in the past two weeks.
But police are reluctant to comment on whether such incidents are gathering momentum because most victims are not reporting them.
On Friday, Shiven Singh and his fiancée were driving on the N3 near Brickfield Road when a pedestrian allegedly flung a rock at his vehicle.
“Coincidentally, we were talking about the attacks when it happened. I heard a loud explosion and there was glass everywhere when the rock landed,” he said.
The missile did not enter Singh’s car, and the couple was unharmed. They approached the metro police for assistance but the officers did not investigate, claimed Singh.
“I believe there’s a trend. I’ve seen the Facebook posts and shared them previously, but now I understand how a victim felt after this experience.
“I have not reported the matter to police because I don’t have faith they will find the suspects,” he said.
On Thursday, a rock was thrown from Tollgate Bridge on to 77-year-old Dorian Kahlberg’s vehicle, according to the Independent on Saturday,
The Mercury reported that Aliza Cilliers’s car window was shattered after being hit by rock as she travelled along the N2 near the airport.
The incidents come in the wake of the fatal attack that also took place on the N2, near Ballito, last week. Amina Haffajee, 16, and her brother Abdur, 7, died after a boulder ripped through the windscreen of the vehicle they were travelling in.
SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele urged victims to report incidents even if they were not injured. He said only the Haffajee deaths had been reported, in which no arrests had been made.
Northern Durban police and local crime fighters are keeping a watchful eye on bridges.
Nazir Sadack, Tongaat CPF and Community Emergency Response Team chairperson, said sporadic incidents had been confirmed and the group was on high-alert.
“We cannot confirm whether or not there is a trend because there are many hoax messages, and those who have been attacked have not reported it to police,” he said.
“When you’re about to drive under a bridge, be wary and try and switch lanes if it’s safe. If you are attacked, do not stop until you reach a place that looks safe.”
Meanwhile, the reward for information on the killers of the Haffajees has hit R250 000, mainly as pledges made by community members.
DA MP Dean Macpherson started the initiative with a personal pledge of R5 000 for information. He started the initiative because of the trauma his stepmother suffered during a rock-throwing incident on the N2 in 2015.
“South Africans are sick and tired of losing loved ones to senseless crime, and that’s why they’ve supported this cause. It’s sad that we have to offer money for information on the suspects,” he said.
The holed windscreen of the car in which the Haffajee siblings were travelling on the N2 near Ballito, in KZN, last week when a rock was thrown off an overhead bridge, killing them both.