With two attacks by assailants using rocks as obstructions and weapons having occurred on the Cape Town N1 in the last week, urgent action is needed to ensure the safety of motorists and the prosecution of criminals endangering the lives of road users. The City of Cape Town is now looking into establishing a highway patrol system to cover the stretch of the N1 running through the city and attack hotspots.
Most Capetonians will know of the seemingly random flareups of these attacks which occur on roads like the N1 and N2, leading to hijackings, robberies and murder among other crimes. Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz says the previous plague on the N2 which saw rocks placed in the roads on numerous occasions was stopped through mediation with communities. He said the recent flareup on the N1 seems to once again point in the direction of pure criminality.
“Criminals are opportunists, they’re re out looking for their bonuses…they can’t work but they look for a bonus,” said an obviously frustrated Fritz.
The MEC has also indicated that the City will assess whether neighbourhood watch groups will be able to assist in the prevention of these attacks, operating largely as a deterrent.
Despite official preventative measures, however, Fritz has urged drivers to be vigilant on the road and stressed the importance of not drinking and driving.
“I appeal to all motorists: be vigilant and don’t drink and drive because it dulls your senses,” said Fritz highlighting that motorists might not be able to react appropriately or fast enough if their senses are dulled and confused.
Last week Michele Pietersen, a former teacher at New Orleans Secondary School in Paarl, was killed after she was hit in the face by a brick thrown at the car she was in while driving on the N1. Then, on Saturday, a woman by the name of Karla Etzebeth was attacked during the early hours of the morning by four males who placed rocks to obstruct the road. When Etzebeth slowed her car the criminals attacked her by throwing large stones. Etzebeth suffered injuries to her face and extensive damage to her vehicle.