Reporter slightly injured in botched hijacking
A Sowetan journalist cheated death this week when four armed robbers shot and wounded him in an attempt to hijack the newspaper's cars he was driving.
Riot Hlatshwayo, who had just left the KaNyamazane petrol station in Thekwane South near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, shortly after 7.30pm, noticed a suspicious- looking white Toyota Conquest with five occupants in it following him.
"I stopped at a shop after suspecting that this car was after me. When I returned to the car, four armed thugs, who had covered their faces with stockings, shouted at me to come out while they shot the car's windows shattering the one on the driver's side," Hlatshwayo said.
He tried to escape, but a bullet grazed his right elbow before he was able to shelter in the shop.
The shop assistant shouted at Hlatshwayo to get out of the shop, fearing that the robbers would target her and her colleagues. Then police patrol van appeared with its lights flashing.
The police chased the suspects, who disappeared into nearby premises.
The two policemen later told Hlatshwayo that they had responded on hearing gunshots.
"We are from Nelspruit police station and we are targeting this area during our patrols so we arrived quickly," said Constable Sibusiso Sithole.
Witnesses, who had scattered when the shots were fired, later said the robbers took a bag and other items from the car.
"The company's expensive camera and a bag containing documents, petrol receipts as well as a logbook were stolen during the attempted hijacking," Hlatshwayo said.
The matter was reported to the Nelspruit police station, where cases of attempted murder, attempted hijacking and theft from a motor vehicle were opened.