Two of the three alleged truck car carrier hijackers were killed when a vehicle they were escaping in overturned.
It is alleged that three men armed with a knife and a firearm surprised a truck driver at a truck stop in Harrismith early this morning (21 August).
The driver, who was transporting about nine vehicles, was threatened, assaulted, fastened and driven to a road between Reitz and Roadside where he was left stranded. Suspects demanded keys to one of the vehicles, silver Toyota Prado, before offloading and escaping in it.
The driver, with the help of a motorist who was passing by, managed to alert the police. Neighbouring police stations and farmers in the vicinity were mobilised and a search ensued. Upon realising that the police were following them, suspects took a gravel road (S53) in the Roadside area at high speed.
They lost control of the vehicle and overturned. Two of the suspects aged about 30 were certified dead on the scene while the third suspect (28) ran away. He was later found and arrested.
Cases of hijacking and culpable homicide are under investigation. The suspect will appear in court soon on a charge of hijacking.
Bethlehem Cluster Commander Maj Gen Jan Tsotetsi would like to thank everyone who took part in the search, including a passer-by who reacted swiftly to assist the truck driver.
A toy gun suspected to have been used during the hijacking was also recovered.