BY Anelisa Kubheka
A Bolt (formerly Taxify) driver says he regrets going to seek help at the uMlazi GG Police Station after being hijacked, saying he was assaulted by police “like a criminal” over using the station’s telephone.
Mthokozisi Hodi, 27, said he went to the police station on Saturday night after his hijackers had locked him in the boot of his car and abandoned it at an uMlazi cemetery.
Hodi said he had been in Umbilo when he received a request to pick up passengers who wanted to go to Morningside.
“I picked up two guys. One sat in the front and the other in the back. When we got to Morningside, the guy at the back pointed a gun at the back of my head and the guy in the front began searching my pockets. I was told to jump into the back seat and lie on the floor where my takkies were taken off and my laces used to tie my hands,” he said.
Hodi said one man kept the gun pointed at him while the other drove.
“We drove for about 15 to 20 minutes before we stopped. They took me out of the car and put me into the boot,” said Hodi.
He said that while he was in the boot he could hear them “stripping” the car, looking for a tracker.
“While they looked in the boot, I was made to stand outside. I recognised that I was in a cemetery in uMlazi’s A section. I pleaded with them to leave the boot open so I could breathe before they left me,” said Hodi.
He climbed out the open boot, untied himself and walked to the police station at about 11.30pm.
Officers accompanied him to fetch the car, and when they had returned to the station he asked to use the phone, as his had been taken by his hijackers.
Hodi said he made about four calls trying to get through to the owner of his Taxify car.
“The officers in the charge office began complaining that I was hogging the phone, and being disrespectful for doing that. They told me not to wait inside because I was being disrespectful,” he said.
After refusing to wait outside, he was allegedly pushed outside by officers who throttled, kicked and slapped him.
“I was treated like a criminal when I was supposed to feel safe,” he said.
Hodi said that he went to see a doctor to detail his injuries before going to open a case at Durban Central Police Station.