The 28-year-old man who has been arrested following the hijacking ordeal of a Morningside employee, briefly appeared in court on Tuesday and will remain in custody until 18 December when he will appear for his bail application.
Marta Rubilar (55) was accosted outside her work place on Powell Road and forced into her vehicle at gunpoint by four men, two of whom were in possession of her vehicle during her abduction ride. The suspects first grabbed her handbag and car keys which were in her hand. Rubilar’s hijacking was caught on CCTV and went viral on social media setting in motion an extensive network of rescuers who were hot on the heels tracking the suspects. The victim was eventually dropped off in Newlands East and her vehicle was recovered in KwaMashu on the same day.
One suspect, identified as Asibonge Mdlalose, was arrested shortly after the traumatic episode and has been charged and detained.
Speaking to The Weekly Gazette, a dynamic Rubilar, who was back to the grindstone shortly after her terrifying encounter and who appears hardly fazed, said, “I am doing well.
“One of the men who took me was nice to me. He didn’t make me feel so scared. He spoke to me like a good human. He said I must just listen and co-operate and everything will be okay. He was compassionate.”
Police spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane, said, “It is alleged that on 7 December 2018 at 7.45am, a woman (55) was attacked along Powell Road in Morningside and taken back to her vehicle. The suspects drove away with her, robbed of her belongings and later dropped off along the road at Newlands East. She had no injuries. Her vehicle was found at KwaMashu C Section.
“A case of hijacking and kidnapping was opened at the Durban Central police station for investigation. Police arrested a 28-year-old suspect and he was charged. He appeared in the Durban Magistrates’ Court on 11 December 2018. The search for other suspects is on-going.”
Marshall Security spokesman, Kyle Van Reenen, said Marshall Security responded to the reports of the Morningside hijacking and added, “A description of the vehicle, as well as other information, was circulated among various roleplayers including the South African Police Services. A cellphone signal from the victim’s phone was found in the Springfield Park area and Marshall Security and the SAPS began to search various areas north of Morningside.
After a long, two hour search period, members of the Newlands East SAPS located the victim whilst on a patrol. Although shaken up in the ordeal, she did not suffer any physical injury. The vehicle was later recovered abandoned in KwaMashu C Section, by members of Matrix vehicle tracking and Marshall Security.”
EThekwini Secure PRO, Zain Soosiwala, said, “As soon as reports of the abduction and hijacking filtered in, alerts were conveyed immediately via a vast social media networking system and Zello channels.
“All available patrollers and members from the numerous eThekwini Secure areas extending from Durban to Hillcrest heeded the call for assistance and were out and about in search of the vehicle and the victim. Joined by police and security companies, this was team work at its ultimate height. Thankfully, the victim was found safe and unharmed with the vehicle recovered as an added bonus.”
Soosiwala urged members of public to be on high alert at all times and remain vigilant in the face of marauding criminals.
“It appears that almost anyone is a soft target. We are ‘sitting ducks’ in our homes, workplace and even in our vehicles. We need to take precautions and adhere to safety warnings. It is also imperative that we join street patrols and community networks to keep abreast of crime trends and crime alerts,” Soosiwala added.