Thursday, April 15, 2010
High alert after N2 daylight attacks
15 April 2010, 07:06
By Michelle Jones
Police want the notorious N2 near Cape Town International Airport classified as a "high risk area" ahead of the World Cup.
They say they are alarmed by the number of regular attacks on motorists in the area.
The road is to be used by tens of thousands of foreign soccer fans making their way to and from the airport, and security is uppermost among the concerns of prospective World Cup tourists.
Metro police are now to step up patrols on the busy route.
Robbers have, despite regular police and traffic patrols, struck again after at least two people were attacked there this week - one person was stabbed and the second, a woman, robbed.
An off-duty Johannesburg police inspector was stabbed a number of times on Monday and a woman robbed of her belongings on Tuesday on the N2 between Borcherds Quarry Road and the airport turn-off.
In the past few years, there has been a spate of stone-throwing on Cape Town's busiest roads, particularly on N2, with robberies and attacks taking place once the driver had pulled over.
Provincial police spokesman Andre Traut said yesterday the N2 was policed daily by members of the Flying Squad.
"We have a dedicated patrol on all the highways. We have high visibility in the area with the Flying Squad doing the highway patrols. The specific police stations crossing the N2 also patrol the area.
"We will be stepping up all policing during the World Cup, so the entire Western Cape will benefit from that," Traut said.
Provincial traffic spokesman Xenophone Wentzel said officers patrolled the N2 and worked from the nearby satellite office. He said he had not heard any reports of stone-throwing in recent months.
Wentzel said special operational plans would be put in place in the weeks leading up to the World Cup
Community Safety MEC Lennit Max said if provincial and metro police had identified certain problem areas, then "operational plans must be put in place".
On Monday, members of the City's Copperheads saved the life of an off-duty Johannesburg police inspector on the N2 near the airport turn-off after he was attacked and stabbed next to the road.
Neil Arendse of the Copperheads metals and theft unit said the inspector was visiting Cape Town at about 11am when his car broke down between Borcherds Quarry Road and the airport turn-off.
"When members of the Copperheads drove past the inspector and his broken-down vehicle, they saw him being stabbed by two males. They immediately made a U-turn and sped off to the scene to help the inspector," he said.
When the Copperheads members, Reginald Gordon and Gabriel Noble, approached the vehicle the two attackers fled into the Crossroads area.
The two decided not to pursue the attackers but stayed at the scene to help the injured inspector, who had been stabbed in the back and legs.
"They immediately loaded the inspector into their vehicle and rushed off to Vergelegen Medi-Clinic in Somerset West. Emergency staff... stated that the prompt response of the Copperheads members probably saved the life of the police officer," Arendse said.
Queries to the Vergelegen Medi-Clinic about the inspector's condition were, late yesterday, not returned.
Arendse said a woman broke down at the same spot at about the same time on Tuesday, and was robbed.
"It happens in broad daylight. They really don't care. As soon as they see a marked car approaching, they run into the Crossroads area."
Arendse said a group of young men had been spotted in the area carrying "big knives". He said he had been involved in discussions to have the section of road classified as "high risk", for increased patrols.
In 2006, it claimed the life of Nolan Daniels after a brick smashed his windscreen and struck him. Also in 2006, a Kenilworth man had to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair his fractured skull after a rock was hurled at the car in which he was travelling.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Times on April 15, 2010
Comments by Sonny
This is just one road in SA.
What about all the rest of the country!