South African government minister, bodyguards robbed on major highway

Johannesburg, November 8 (AP) Police are searching for suspects who robbed a government minister at gunpoint and snatched a pistol from his two bodyguards on a busy highway in Johannesburg, South Africa. The police gave this information on Tuesday.

The robbery incident occurred when Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga’s bodyguard was changing a punctured tire of his vehicle on the highway on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, three gunmen allegedly came out of the bushes and snatched the weapons of the bodyguards and ordered them to lie down on the ground. After this they pointed the gun at Chikunga and looted some of his personal things.

“A search for suspects has been launched following this unexpected incident,” police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said.

The minister told MPs during his parliamentary address on Tuesday that he was deeply shocked by the incident.

Chikunga said, “This incident was very painful and heart-wrenching…. It was a very bad experience.”

“When I realized something was wrong, I tried to call,” he said. But before I could do anything, he opened the door of the vehicle and pointed the gun at my head and ordered me to come out.

It appears that Chikunga and his bodyguards have become victims of a known criminal tactic on some of the country’s major roads in which robbers place spikes on the road to puncture a car’s tire and then drive off when the occupants of the vehicle stop to repair the tyre. When they go out, they ambush and attack them.

Police said the bodyguards are being provided necessary assistance and counselling.

AP Surbhi Jitendra


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