It’s not often i post something serious, but several people have alerted me to scary incidents occuring on the N2 near Cape Town International airport so i thought i’d share the warning and hopefully it gets enough attention and something gets done. According to several reports, the stretch of road leading into and out of CT airport onto the N2 has seen numerous incidents where large rocks have been placed in the road causing cars to crash. The occupants are then confronted by several people, assaulted and robbed. Recently a male motorist died in hospital after being assaulted by four attackers. This is unacceptable and needs to stop.
Yesterday i recieved a letter written by a SAA pilot and sent to Helen Zille and it disturbed me enough to share it with you guys.
Here’s part of the letter written by Archie Bell to fellow pilots and Helen Zille.
“Please forward this email to all our First Officers and commuters on the Cpt parking data base and to all the cabin crew and any other staff that use the N2 regularly.
On Friday evening I had a particularly unpleasant experience on the way home after operating an evening flight into Cpt. Tristan Gardner and I both left the car park at approximately 22:15 and headed out to the N2 via the airport access road. Tristan was about a kilometer in front of me. The visibility was very poor as it was raining and rather dark. After crossing the flyover onto the N2 Tristan noticed in his rear view mirror that someone was pulling a box into the left hand lane of the flyover.
As I approached this area I was in the left hand lane on the bend at the apex of bend and due to there being no lighting in this area and the poor visibility due to the rain I only noticed the box very late. I swerved to the right to go around the cardboard box but could not go into the outer right hand lane as there were three cars overtaking me on the right. I hit the box with my left hand front wheel and my car got airborne as there was a concrete block inside the box.
Needless to say my tyre and rim was severely damaged and deflated immediately on impact. I did not stop and drove on the rim down to the N2 where there was some lighting and stopped in the emergency lane. I climbed out the car to inspect the damage but I immediately noticed six men heading down the off ramp towards my car, they were about 100m’s behind me. I jumped back into my car, locked the doors, started the engine and tried to drive off. My car accelerated very slowly due the damage to my front wheel and the suspension.
The six men now started throwing half bricks at my windows to try and smash them and gain access to the car. Fortunately I had fitted anti-smash and grab strengthening film to all my windows and they did not break. I put the car into 4×4 range and managed to accelerate and out run the six men. I drove about 4km down the N2 and stopped and phoned Tristan and the Cpt emergency control centre (021 480 7700).
They called the Saps and said that a vehicle had been dispatched, it never arrived. Tristan found a tow truck driver and he came and rescued me. Thanks Tristan for all your help and assistance. The tow truck driver (Franscois) had some good Gen and advice. He says that there are a number of gangs that operate along the N2 and that the flyover is a hot spot. Apparently Wesley (Cpt CCM) was stopped in a similar fashion last Wednesday evening and unfortunately he was mugged and stabbed.
The Modis Operandi of these gangs is to first disable the car, then smash their way into your car and to stab or wound you. They then proceed to steal whatever they can and disappear very quickly. The tow truck driver Offered the following advice.”
That letter resulted in a meeting between Bell and Daniel Plato, the MEC for Safety and Security in the Western Cape. The SAPS were invited, but never sent a representative. Swak.
The meeting concluded with discussion around short and long term solutions HERE, but i reckon it’s not enough. Something needs to done now before more people are hurt or killed.
Be alert when you use that road late at night or in poor weather conditions…and tell those you care about as well.