Hitch-hikers warned of criminals

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Police at Pongola in northern Zululand have warned hitch-hikers to be extra careful when hiking.

This comes after two hitch-hikers at the Golela turn-off, towards the Golela border post, were attacked by unknown men.

Police spokesman Inspector Bonginkosi Mkhize said that while the two were hiking a distance from each other, the female hiker noticed two men approaching the male hiker. "One fired a warning shot in the air and then shot the old man once in the head.

"The female hiker ran for her safety. She was, however, able to see the suspects taking the old man's luggage and running away with it, leaving him lying dead on the side of the road," Mkhize said.

Mkhize said the woman managed to get to Golela border post where she reported the matter to the police. "On arrival, the police found the body of the old man, who had Swaziland documents on him.

"His belongings were found in a nearby sugarcane field," said Mkhize.

He said they believed the murder was not related to xenophobic attacks that have rocked the country.

"We would like to warn hitch-hikers to be careful because, clearly, criminals are now after them."

The name of the dead man could not be released as his next of kin are still to be informed.

Most of the hikers in that area are teachers working in Mhlabuyalingana, where transport is scarce.