The Anti-Vehicle Trafficking Unit in Umkhanyakude, in KwaZulu-Natal, says car theft has dropped significantly under level 3 lockdown.

The unit’s chairperson Joseph Ngubane is attributing the good news to roadblocks and increased police visibility.  

The cars are normally stolen in various parts of South Africa and taken to Mozambique via Jozini.

Last year, tired of hijackings, residents in the district took the streets, calling for more action to end hijackings in the area.

They also beat up men believed to be part of a car syndicate, who gave up the names of law enforcement officers accused of involvement in the trafficking of cars.  

“It was really bad before the lockdown but now things are much better. The hijackers are people who live among us and are now cautious because the police are all over. Roadblocks all over the country are also helpful because at the borders – they have been passing through despite patrols,” Ngubane says.

He hopes for more roadblocks along the border posts in Mkhanyakude.

“Although we understand that budgetary constrains could prevent the deployment of more police officers – we believe the roadblocks will really keep the crime levels down.”

He has also lamented the passing of KwaZulu-Natal Transport and Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Bheki Ntuli.

Ngubane says Ntuli was committed to crime fighting and at the time of his passing – they were planning a meeting to find lasting solutions to vehicle trafficking. 

Ntuli died of COVID-19 related complications recently and was laid to rest on Thursday.