Fears of high­way rock-throw­ing men­ace is on rise

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - KARINDA JAGMOHAN

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.

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