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Former Banyana Banyana Star Hijacked Amid Car Stripping Crisis in Moroka

The Moroka community in Soweto is grappling with rampant car hijackings and illegal car stripping, with a recent incident involving ex-Banyana Banyana player Portia Modise highlighting the severity of the issue.

The Moroka community in Soweto is raising urgent alarms about the escalating issue of car hijackings and illegal car stripping in their area. The situation recently garnered significant attention when former Banyana Banyana player, Portia Modise, was violently hijacked outside her home in White City, Soweto. In a video shared on social media, Modise recounted her terrifying ordeal, where gun-wielding attackers forced her out of her car and stole her belongings. Her emotional plea for help underscored the vulnerability and fear felt by many residents.

This tragic event is part of a larger pattern of criminal activity plaguing Moroka, a known hot spot for car hijackings. An open field in the area has become a notorious dumping ground for stolen vehicles, where cars are stripped for parts or set ablaze. MA Selepe, founder of Selepe Community Protection Services, highlighted the severity of the situation, noting that the field receives upwards of 20 stripped cars each week.

Despite numerous pleas for intervention, the community feels abandoned by local authorities. Selepe expressed frustration over the lack of response from both the police and the City of Joburg. Attempts to engage with the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) to repurpose the land for community benefit have been ignored, exacerbating the problem.

The community’s concerns are backed by alarming statistics. In the latest quarterly crime report from the South African Police Service (SAPS), Gauteng accounted for half of the country’s hijackings, with Moroka listed among the top precincts for these crimes. From October to December 2023, 5,973 vehicles were hijacked nationwide, marking a 6.5% increase from the previous year.

Residents are now pinning their hopes on Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and his crime-fighting initiatives. There is a call for the deployment of wardens, as well as surveillance measures like cameras and drones, to monitor the open field and curb criminal activities. The community remains hopeful that these measures will bring much-needed security and peace to their neighborhood.

Efforts to get comments from the police and city officials were unsuccessful, leaving the community feeling neglected and desperate for action.

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