As South Africa has one of the highest rates of hijackings inthe world. Everyday people in South Africa have their vehicles forcefully taken from them and often this goes hand-in-hand with violence. Even though most people believe they would not fall victim to this kind of crime, it is still in your and your families' best interest that you know how to deal with and handle the situation should it arise…
First and most important rule:
Do not panic! Easy to say isn't it… but still it remains critical that you do not panic. It could save your life, as well as that of a family member. The hijacker in a lot of situations is more nervous than you, and by panicking, screaming and shouting at the hijacker you put yourself or someone else in danger of a trigger finger slip.
The following is tips and guidelines that could save your life, as well as that of the passengers in your vehicle, whether it be family,friends or colleagues…
1. Slowly put your hands in the air where the hijacker can see them, so he will know you are not a threat.
2. Do not look at the hijackers face or eyes. Follow their instructions carefully. Remain honest at all times, but do not offer information or valuables and objects unless explicitly asked for it. We will explain later. If they do ask for something, hand it over immediately, your life is worth more than earthly possessions.
3. Slowly undo your safety belt. Remember, sudden movements can bring on an act of violence or get yourself or someone else shot. (many people here will offer advice as to using your left hand, or use the hand that is furthest away from the belt buckle and button. It is irrelevant unless instructed by the hijackers which hand to use as either hand can potentially be reaching for a weapon. The most important thing is to use slow movements and keep the other hand visible to the hijacker at all times.)
4. Do not speak too fast when you have to respond to a question or instruction, stay calm and do not let aggression into your tone of voice.
5. Get out of the vehicle slowly and instruct the other occupants to do the same, in a slow and calm manner, keeping their hands visible at all times. Leave anything that is not on your person inside the vehicle, do not try to take it. This goes for handbags, laptops, mobile phones and even your cigarettes… IT WOULD BE BEST TO LET THE HIJACKERS TO OPEN THE DOORS UNLESS INSTRUCTED OTHERWISE. Do not insist that they open the doors. This way your movements cannot be interpreted as possible aggression or acts against them.
6. If there is a child in a car seat in the back of the vehicle that cannot get out by themselves calmly let the hijackers know you are going to remove the child from the vehicle and that neither you or the child pose any threat or danger to them. Always keep your hands visible, be quick but remember, NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS OR MOVEMENTS THAT CAN BE SEEN AS AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR TOWARDS THE HIJACKERS. Always follow the hijacker's instructions.
7. Move away from the vehicle as quickly as possible, without looking directly at the hijackers.
If not asked to empty your pockets, specifically hand over a mobile phone or your wallet, these items should now still be with you if it was on your person as the hijackers drive away. If not specifically asked for your mobile phone and it is still in your pocket, you can now make the call for help, whether it be medical assistance or the South African Police Service to report the crime as quickly as possible.
Give the SAPS as much information as possible to help them with their investigation, as close to the time of the incident as possible. Even though you did not look directly at them, your peripheral vision should still have been good enough to pick up valuable details. Try and take note of the following during the incident without looking directly at the hijackers face:
1. Number of individuals involved.
2. Height of the suspects, you know how tall you are and compare their height with yours.
3. Build of the suspects.
4. Any noticeable tattoos or other distinguishable markings that you can remember.
5. Type and color of the clothing the individuals were wearing.
6. How many firearms or weapons did they have, as well as a good description of what they looked like, if you could not identify the firearm or weapon this information could still be valuable.
7. Which direction did they come from, and in which direction did they go.
8. Were there another vehicle? Make, model and color of the vehicle. Registration number or partial registration number of the vehicle will also be extremely helpful.
9. Could you identify the language they were speaking?
Prevention is still better than cure. Please have a look on our page at information posted with relation to actions you can take to minimize your risk from becoming a hijack victim.
NOTE: This is only a guide and no information or instructions anybody can give you will work in every situation, as every situation is different, the circumstances aredifferent and the hijackers are different. Drugs, alcohol and mental state of mind of the hijackers can change the situation drastically.
Wierdabrug Sector 2 CPF
Rooihuiskraal / The Reeds, Centurion