Both of the Free State musicians and artists who were taken hostage on September 4 have been found alive. . . But not without injuries.
After the woman was raped and the man was beaten, both of them were then abandoned in the middle of the night, many kilometers away from any kind of protection.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Mamello Mlangeni (29) and her co-singer, Nako Molapo (28), from Tears of Joy, an African soul music duo, were seated in a car when they were confronted by armed men who then got into the car with them and drove away.
At the time of the attack, the musicians were waiting for their driver at the De Bult Jazz Club in Phuthaditjhaba, which is located in the state of Free State. Their driver was getting takeaway alcohol at the time.
It was the start of a nightmare that will follow them around in their sleep for the rest of their lives.
A few hours before they were taken captive, Mamello and Nako were giving a performance at the yearly event that is known as Free State Spin Fest.
“We had just gone to sleep in the car when the assailants crept up on us. We were ordered to hand over all of our possessions, including our mobile phones and our money. “They took us to the mountain near Mabolela Village, and that’s where I was raped at gunpoint,” said Mamello, a mother of two children. “They did not care that I was pregnant.”
She stated that they had abandoned her in the bushes while she was naked. It wasn’t until the morning that she realized she had no idea where she was.
“There is power in prayer. It was not my turn to pass away yet. “Men scare me,” was what she had to say.
After being beaten up, Nako was discarded in a different location.
He was able to navigate his way through the darkness and make it to a nearby home, where he received assistance.
“At that moment, I was certain that my life was over. Those kidnappers were cold-blooded; I was terrified for my life. We have no idea why we were taken captive in the first place. He remarked, “I really hope that the police will be able to find down the suspects as soon as possible.”
More than 10 kilometers distant from the location where they were abducted, their vehicle was left abandoned close to the Makwane Clinic.
At the Phuthaditjhaba Police Station, a file was started for a case of alleged rape and kidnapping. A warrant officer by the name of Mmako Mophiring stated unequivocally that an investigation into a case of rape and kidnapping was now underway.
To this far, there has been no one taken into custody in connection with the investigation.
The crime figures for the first quarter of 2022/2023 for South Africa show that there has been another sharp spike in hijackings across the country.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) presented the data on Friday (19 August), and it covers the period of time between April and June 2022.
There were a total of 5,866 reported carjackings across the country during the period, which is an increase of 14% from the 5,146 reported carjackings over the same period the previous year. This equates to an average of one car being stolen every 22 minutes in the country.
Additionally, the number of hijackings increased by 8.6% from the 5,402 incidents that were documented in the previous quarter. When looking at the trends of hijacking over the course of the past three months, there was a significant increase in May, followed by a decrease in June.
The majority of the instances were recorded in the most populous districts, which is consistent with the findings of the country’s other significant crime statistics. The province of Gauteng had the highest number of recorded carjacking cases (3,113), followed by the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal (913), and the Western Cape (754).
Mpumalanga was the only province in South Africa to report a drop in the number of vehicle hijackings.
The data presented in the table below identifies the regions that have had the highest number of instances of vehicle hijackings reported to their local police stations during the third quarter.
The highest number of carjackings was reported in Nyanga, which is located in the Western Cape. This was followed by Philippi East and Harare, both of which are also located in the same province. The Western Cape may have the most stations in the top 10, while Gauteng has the majority of the stations in the bottom 30.
Tracker South Africa issued a warning not too long ago that hijackers in the country are adapting their techniques in order to deal with new technologies. This includes the rising usage of key re-programmers and signal grabbers to combat emerging technologies such as the “push to start” buttons seen in vehicles.
The group also pointed out that as a result of the proliferation of home delivery services over the past few years, individuals are now being targeted when they wait at their gate for a delivery. Criminals will block the gate in order to gain entry into the property and access to vehicles while the individuals are waiting for their deliveries.
According to Tracker, when it comes to the vehicles and vehicle types that are targeted by hijackers, bakkies continue to rank high on the list of vehicle types with the highest probability of being kidnapped.
The most recent statistics from the security company Fidelity shows that carjackers most frequently target Volkswagen and Toyota vehicles, with some of the targeted models being the following: Toyota Hilux & Volkswagen Polo
This is consistent with the most recent data provided by the South African Police Service, which reveals that the most common types of vehicles to be stolen in the country are sedans, hatchbacks, and bakkies.
The findings of the monitoring organization Netstar are likewise consistent with the report. According to the members of the club, the most common types of vehicles to be hijacked are luxury SUVs and mid-range sedans.
Recent research conducted by Netstar in South Africa identified the following types of criminal activity related to motor vehicles:
“Police hijacking” and “blue light gang activity” refer to situations in which criminals impersonate as officials of the law.
They remove your license plate, then follow you while you drive and show it to you. When you come to a stop, they take your vehicle.
They give you a hard knock, and when you step out of the vehicle to assess the damage, they take over your vehicle. They pretend that your tire is flat in order to get you to pull over so that they can steal your vehicle.
The following is what tracking firms advise their customers to do in order to stay safe and avoid becoming victims of hijackers:
The following safety precautions and preventative measures against probable hijackings were provided by the company:
Keep an eye out for other vehicles that look the same, as carjackings are typically well organized. Because the target is observed for several days leading up to the incident, you should take careful notice if you continue to come across the same vehicles during the course of your normal travels.
Always make sure to report any suspicious activity to your local neighborhood watch or the security firm in your area as soon as possible.
Do not simply drive into your driveway; instead, pay attention to the other vehicles in the area, and if you notice that another vehicle has been making the same turns as you, wait to enter your driveway until the other vehicle has passed.
Keep moving: If the gate is not electric, make an effort to have someone else open it for you. If the gate is electric, make an effort to open it for the shortest amount of time possible while spending as little time as possible in your vehicle.
Take into account the passage of time: Pay attention to your surroundings at all times, but especially when you are pulling into driveways or idling at traffic lights. Late in the evening, when people are likely to be going home from work and are sleepy and comfortable as a result of their day, we typically find that the hijacking peak occurs.