Masoka Dube

Masoka Dube

Vehicle theft and the smuggling of stolen vehicles into neighbouring countries is rampant.

A man believed to be a Mozambican national was killed when the stolen vehicle he was driving overturned while he tried to escape from police on Thursday night in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga.

Mahamba police spokesman Constable Eric Sibisi said the police were patrolling at night when they saw a speeding vehicle coming from the direction of Piet Retief and heading for Phongola in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Police suspected that there was something wrong with the car because of the speed at which it was travelling. When they tried to stop it, the lone driver inside the double-cab bakkie sped off.

"Police gave chase and the driver lost control. The vehicle then overturned several times.

"The injured driver was taken to the local hospital where he was certified dead after a few hours," said Sibisi.

Sibisi said the man told the doctors that he was from Mozambique but did not divulge more information about himself.

"We are certain that he is a Mozambican national because when he was speaking to the police at the scene in pure Xitsonga.

"Besides, most of the people arrested with stolen vehicles in this area are from Mozambique or Swaziland," Sibisi said.

The police said the vehicle was stolen in Gauteng on Thursday afternoon.

Sibisi said the theft and smuggling of vehicles over the borders of the country was a "daily headache" for the police working at the border posts.

Sibisi said vehicle smugglers from Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique operated sophisticated syndicates that sold vehicles on order.

Two weeks ago, the media reported that the car of slain reggae musician and icon, Lucky Dube, was destined for Mozambique.

Two Mozambicans are among four people arrested and charged with Dube's murder.