The incident has raised questions about several hijackings in the Bay area in the past year, where cars with blue lights were used to pull drivers off the road and subsequently hijack them.
Last year, several incidents were reported where trucks were pulled over by criminals posing as police officials and using blue lights. Most of the incidents occurred when the trucks had been driving out of Port Elizabeth on delivery.
“Due to the nature of the crime, the provincial organised crime investigation unit has taken over the case and is running with the information. As part of the initial investigation, we are going to see if they are linked to other hijackings,” Beetge said.
Esar Transport Company MD Peps Pretorius said the company was shocked by the cold-blooded murder of their drive. “We are all devastated by this. We are all so shocked and had a prayer meeting after hearing the news. I personally spoke to Absalom's wife this morning, who is traumatised,” he said.
Pretorius said the company had been doing deliveries between Port Elizabeth and Gauteng for about 30 years, with no incident in the Bay.
“[Mnisi] arrived in Port Elizabeth on Monday and the load was placed on the truck. It is mostly scrap copper. He was driving back when he was pulled off the road," Pretorius said. “I suspect that they were after the copper. Just before the police caught them, the suspects were preparing to open the load (of copper) to take it off the truck."
Detectives are following up on leads and more arrests are expected.