Suspects yet to be identified in Sindisiwe Chikunga N3 robbery
The Minister of Transport and her armed security detail were robbed at gunpoint on the N3 highway near Johannesburg, in the wee hours of Monday, 6 November 2023.
The robbery occurred as the minister’s convoy was halted to change a punctured tire between Vosloorus and Heidelberg.
Emerging from the roadside bushes, three gunmen executed the heist, absconding with two state firearms and personal items from the minister and her VIP protectors.
The brazen robbery unfolded despite the minister being accompanied by a security detail, a standard protocol for high-ranking officials. Criminologist Dr Guy Lamb from the University of Stellenbosch, in a Radio 702 interview, described the incident as unfortunate timing rather than a targeted attack.
According to Lamb, such ambushes are common tactics of robbery gangs who deliberately place obstacles to puncture tires and trap their victims.
“It’s the modus operandi of some of these robbery gangs is that they will put items on the road that will cause tyre punctures and the cars will stop and they will be ambushed. So, it was a case of the wrong place and wrong time for the Minister,” Lamb suggested.
In a statement, police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe confirmed that while the investigation continues, the members involved in the brazen robbery “are receiving necessary support and counselling,”
“A manhunt has since been launched following this unprecedented incident and to bring to book those responsible for this attack,” Brig Mathe said.