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Hijacking Stats (29 Feb. 2024)

South Africa has seen a slight decrease in hijackings year-on-year.  For the second quarter of the year July 2023 to September 2023, the South African Police Service (SAPS) noted that 6,009 cars were hijacked over the three-month period.  This is a decline of 2.3% compared to the same period in 2022. However, it equates to approximately 66 cars being stolen daily in the country. Two provinces experienced a notable year-on-year increase (>10%) in hijackings, these being the Mpumalanga (14.1%) and Northwest (13.5%).  Interestingly, the Eastern Cape saw a 15.9% decrease in carjacking’s, followed by the Western Cape (-8.2%) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (-7.9%), while Limpopo saw a 5.1% decline in hijackings.

Four quarter’s worth of data, however, gives a clearer indication of the most dangerous areas in the country. The statistics clearly show that Nyanga and Harare in Cape Town are easily the worst areas for hijacking in South Africa.  The areas reported 389 and 385 hijackings over the four quarters, respectivelyThis is over 100 hijackings more than Olievenhoutbosch in Tshwane, which is in third place.  Using the data, the ten areas that hijackers tend to operate in are found in the nation’s three richest provinces, Gauteng, the Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

There is even truck hijacking by Somali syndicates in South Africa.

New Trends.

Motorists in South Africa have been warned of three new hijacking methods which are adding to the country’s crime statisticsThe first new trend emerging was called the ‘blockage method’.  “Hijackers will block you at a fast-food place like a KFC or McDonald’s or one of these establishments where a car will block you from the front, as well as the back,” he said.  “You’ll be identified as a target vehicle.  They’ll block you and then obviously they have closed the space.  They will point at you with a gun and tell you to get out of the car.  You can’t reverse because there’s a car behind you, you can’t go forward because there’s a car (in front) of you and they’ll take your car, and everybody drives away.”  This method is similar to the popular driveway hijacking technique used by hijackers who prey on motorists who arrive home and block their driveway.

Petkov said the second new hijacking trend is called the ‘tap-tap trap method’.  “They’ll drive behind you and slightly bump you.  And then they will say, ‘oh man, I’m so sorry, you know, can we stop and exchange insurance details.  Then they will grab the car and go”.

The third new hijacking trend he added is called the ‘good Samaritan’.  “You will be driving past and they will say, “excuse me, your tyres are flat.  I think you ought to maybe pull over and have a look, there is this situation with your tyre”,” Petkov said.  When a motorist does pull over that is when they are hijacked.  According to the latest police crime stats, in the first quarter of 2023, there were 112 reported hijackings in South Africa, a decrease of 10 percent from the same period in 2022.

Up to Sept 2023

The most affected provinces were Gauteng (50 hijackings), KwaZulu-Natal (28 hijackings), and the Western Cape (20 hijackings).

The most common type of vehicle hijacked is a car (80 hijackings), followed by a bakkie (15 hijackings) and a motorcycle (10 hijackings). 

Most hijackings occur during the day (60 hijackings), followed by the evening (35 hijackings) and the night (17 hijackings).

Some of the other trends linked to hijacking include:

– Hijackings are becoming more violent, with criminals increasingly using guns and knives.

– Hijackings are also becoming more brazen, with criminals targeting vehicles in busy areas, such as shopping malls and traffic lights.

– Criminals are also targeting luxury vehicles, such as SUVs and sports cars.

– In many cases, criminals are using hijacked vehicles to commit other crimes, such as robberies and kidnappings.


Avoid driving in high-crime areas, especially at night.

Be aware of your surroundings and park in well-lit areas.

Do not leave valuables in your car, even if you are just running into a store for a few minutes.

If you are hijacked, do not resist.  Give the criminals what they want and stay calm.


According to the October to December 2023 quarterly crime stats, the types of vehicles hijacked include sedans, hatchbacks, coupes, bakkies, panel vans, motorcycles, SUVs, station wagons, microbuses, minibuses, trucks (both under and over 3500kg), trailers, buses, as well as industrial and agricultural machinery.  So basically, any vehicle or mode of transport.  However, in 2023, Toyota was the most common brand of car hijackers targeted.  Close to 32% of all hijacked vehicles were reported as Toyota, followed by Volkswagen, which contributed around 14% of all hijacking cases. Together they reached 46%.

Fuel theft has also become a rampant issue in South Africa, with organized criminals targeting fuel depots and hijacking fuel trucks to sell the fuel.

Business-owned vehicles are almost twice as likely to be hijacked as stolen.  Gauteng is still the province that experiences the highest number of hijackings.


Eugene Herbert, the CEO of MasterDrive, said “While (hotspot) information is certainly important to educate drivers on areas where they should be on high alert, also be cautious that information like this does not lull you into a false sense of security”.  “Just because you drive through Constantia and not Nyanga in the Western Cape, does not mean you can let your guard down. Be selective of the message you take from content and do not increase your own risk.”

Hijacking is not a new issue and is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

To make matters worse warnings such as on 30 March 2023 in Gauteng that all Operating Companies must please warn their drivers to be on the lookout for a suspect vehicle of fake Metro Police cops operating on the N3 and N12 that pulls trucks over to hijack them. Drivers were advised to immediately press their panic alarm and inform their controllers when encountered by those robbers.

Car Hijackings are up 6, 5%.  A car is stolen every 22 minutes in South Africa.  It was established that car hijackings increases during load shedding. Experts warn that the SAPS is losing the battle against crime after a series of carjacking’s and robberies led to more and more people becoming more dependent on Private security companies rather than the SAPS.  South Africa is thought to have the highest car hijacking rate in the world.

The number of hijackings in South Africa is expected to ramp up from February 2024, and a new trend has emerged that gives the hijackers more time to find tracking devices and delays the reporting of the crime.  Hijackings is expected to rise in the coming months as available data points to cases typically spiking around February and March.  The new trend with hijacking cases is that criminals are also kidnapping victims to force them to reveal the location of tracking devices and to delay the reporting of the crimes so they can get away.

According to RMC research Jan 2024 had 5 times the hijackings of Jan 2023, while Feb 2024 had twice the hijackings of Jan 2023.  It is clear that hijackings will continue to be higher than the statistics in 2023.





GP39.7% of all hijackings.

KZN35.6% of all hijackings.

WC:  10.9% of all hijackings.         Together they are 86.2%.


Months of the Year Statistics.

May:  18.5%

Aug:  18.5%

Jun:  13%

Jul:  12%

Feb:  7.5%

Apr:  7.5%                                          Together they make 77%


Days of the WeekFridays and Sundays was the most prevalent days in 2023 for hijackings, and Tuesdays and Thursdays were the safest.  However, the analysis of Jan 2024 and Feb 2024 indicates that Saturdays are the worst (30.7%), then Sundays (17.9%) with Tuesdays (15.4%) following.

In differing with RMCs 2023 statistics Tracker had Saturdays instead of Sundays as the second highest day of the week for 2023.  Motorists are at greater risk of being hijacked on Fridays and Saturday in Gauteng‚ Tracker said in its crime statistics report on Monday 22 Jan 24. Their time zone was between 11am and 1pm‚ and 8pm and 11pm on Fridays and between 12pm and 2pm on Saturdays.




GP:  (From highest risk down)

  1. Alexandra
  2. Bronkhorstspruit, Jhb Central and Sandton
  3. Kemptonpark, Lenasia and the N3 near Heidelberg.


KZN:  (From highest risk down)

  1. Umlazi and Mobeni
  2. Pinetown
  3. Umbilo and Phoenix.

WC:  (From highest risk down)

  1. Jakes Gerwel Drive, Khayalitsha Site C and Elsies River
  2. Gugulethu and Delft.

Thus 17 highest hotspot areas for hijackings. 




Mozambique BorderManguzi on the border between South Africa and Mozambique is notorious as a hotspot for car hijackings.

WC:  Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, and Nyanga, have been identified as hotspots for hijackings relating to the Western Cape Government workers.

KZN:  A few incidents that have occurred around the areas of uMzinyathi in eThekwini, where staff members have been hijacked and state vehicles taken at gunpoint.

GP:  Jhb.  The intersections closest to BankServ, the Standard Bank Head office Booysens road and onramp to M2 Hi Way at JHB CBD is a hijacking Hotspot.

  1. Delmas.

Hijacking and Kidnapping Hotspots:  Stop street Crossing of Balmoral Road and R25 at Bronkhorstspruit.  Single African male in Police uniform approach vehicles.  A white VW Golf possibly involved.  Also, R25/R568 T-Junction and Bossemanskraal on the N4.



According to the Fidelity Secure Drive base for 2023, the demand for Toyotas, VWs, Fords, and Nissans remains high on the black market,” he said.  As a result, Bartman highlighted the most hijacked cars among these brands, based on the Fidelity Secure Drive base for 2023 and into the New Year.

According to Fidelity’s latest data, the seven most high-risk hijack vehicle models, in no specific order, are:

Toyota Fortuner (GD6 and D4D);

Toyota Hilux (GD6 and D4D);

Toyota Corolla Cross;

Toyota RAV 4;

VW Polo (especially hatchbacks);

Nissan NP200 (both double and single cabs); and

Ford Ranger (both double and single cabs).




The following criminal operate under Bolt and hijack passengers and steal their belongings: –

  • Silver Grey Etios with black bumper HG 53 LH GP.
  • Mafhungo is the driver. Possibly “Mafhungo Newz Mukwevho”.

Mafhungo apparently admitted that the gun he used is not real and they buy them from an Indian shop.



 Modus Operandi

In a recent alert issued by the Johannesburg North Joint Operations Centre (JHB North JOC), residents of Sandton are urged to exercise extreme caution when traveling along the Marlboro Drive on-ramp to N3 South which has emerged as a crime hotspot. 

The Modus Operandi employed by the criminals is both brazen and dangerous.  As unsuspecting travelers join the N3 South towards the airport, they find themselves ambushed and surrounded by a group of suspects.  The criminals use their vehicles to box the victims in, rendering them defenseless against the ensuing robbery and hijacking.  Once the assailants have taken possession of the vehicle and its contents, victims are often left stranded and traumatized at the scene.


GPS Warning!  Hijackers have started using GPS’s from hijack victims to find the victim’s homes!  Most users program their home addresses in their GPS.  Here are a couple of tips to protect yourself from this situation:

  1. Put an access code on your GPS.
  2. Set your home address on your GPS to a location near your home eg petrol station.
  3. Provide another name to your home address.


Driveway Hijackings

With the new model cars they are using electric fuel pump, did you ever consider a cut out switch to the fuel pump, should you pull up in your driveway, deactivate the fuel pump and leave the keys in the ignition, the hijackers will start the car, drive few meters away and the car will starve with fuel shortage and switch off, the thieves only need the keys when they hijack u in your drive way.


Preventing Hijackings

Here are some essential safety tips that motorists and travelers can follow to protect themselves from becoming victims of hijackings:

  1. Stay Alert: When using the Marlboro Drive on-ramp to the N3 South, remain vigilant at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any suspicious vehicles or individuals nearby.
  2. Travel in Groups: Whenever possible, travel in groups, as criminals are less likely to target vehicles with multiple occupants. This can also be advantageous in the event of an emergency.
  3. Lock Doors and Keep Windows Up: Keep your vehicle doors locked and windows up while driving, especially in slow-moving traffic or when stopped at traffic lights.
  4. Avoid Using Electronic Devices: Refrain from using mobile phones or other electronic devices while driving, as this can distract you from your surroundings and make you an easy target.
  5. Plan Travel Routes: Plan your travel routes in advance and choose well-lit and populated roads, even if they may take slightly longer.
  6. Report Suspicious Activity: If you notice any suspicious activity or vehicles in the area, report it to the local authorities immediately. Your timely action could prevent a potential crime.
  7. Be Prepared: Keep emergency numbers saved in your phone and have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Familiarize yourself with nearby police stations and safe locations where you can seek help if needed.
  8. Inform Friends or Family: Let friends or family know about your travel plans, route, and estimated arrival time, so they can check in on you if necessary.  By implementing these safety measures and fostering a community-wide commitment to crime prevention, residents of Sandton can create a safer environment for everyone. Remember, personal safety is a shared responsibility, and every individual’s contribution matters in the fight against crime.

As law enforcement authorities continue to monitor the criminal activities in the area, there is an appeal to the public to come forward with any information that may aid in apprehending the culprits. By working together, the community can send a strong message that crime will not be tolerated, ultimately leading to a safer and more secure Sandton for all its residents and visitors.


Safety Anti Hijacking Tips

  1. *The 5-Minute Rule* Make it a habit to focus on your surroundings when you are 5 minutes from your home. Be extra alert. Switch off the car radio and concentrate on your surroundings. If you have noticed any vehicle behind you, do not pull into your driveway or even attempt to open your security gate. Drive to your nearest police station.
  2. *Keep It In Reverse* Remember to stop your vehicle just on the inside of the gate and select reverse whilst waiting for the gate to close. This creates confusion and may buy you a few seconds for the gate to close completely behind you.  Try not to pull into your driveway, rather wait in the road with your indicator on (flickering towards roadside) while observing your surroundings before turning into your driveway or garage.
  3. *Light It Up* Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear from shrubbery where perpetrators can hide.
  4. *Extra Eyes* When returning home after dark, ensure that an outside light is on, or have someone meet you at the gate.
  5. *Watch Out For Traps* If you are having trouble with your motorized gate when you arrive home, do not get out of your vehicle to open your gate manually as this may be a trap. Alert your security company.
  6. *Keep Those Eyes Peeled* When approaching your driveway, be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles/persons. This is very important as the majority of hijackers approach their victims in home driveways.
  7. *Know Where Your Nearest Police Station Is* Only pull over when it’s safe. Some syndicates use bogus police or traffic officers.  In the event of being approached by an unmarked SAPS vehicle, you should switch on your hazards, put your hand out of the window and indicate that they should follow you.  Bogus police are driving unmarked white sedan vehicles with blue lights.
  8. *Don’t Stop If You Don’t Feel Safe. If your vehicle is bumped from behind and you do not feel comfortable with the individual involved in the situation, drive to your nearest police station and instruct the person to follow you there.
  9. *Reverse and Drive Away If you encounter obstacles in the road such as rocks or tyres, do not get out of your vehicle to remove them.
  10. *The Escape Gap* When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half a vehicle length in front of your vehicle to make an emergency escape if necessary.
  11. Emergency Numbers. In settings compile emergency numbers, if you touch the power button three times, your phone will contact them, and you can leave a 20 second message.  The phone will also take pictures on both sides of the phone and send it to your emergency contacts.