Minister, her guards receiving counselling after highway robbery

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and her two VIP protectors were robbed on the N3 highway between Vosloorus and Heidelberg on Monday.

According to national police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, the minister and her security detail reportedly drove over spikes on the highway and stopped to fix a punctured tire.

However, they were ambushed by unknown suspects robbing them of their personal belongings and two South African Police Service (SAPS) facility pistols.  

Mathe has confirmed that a case of robbery has been logged and police manhunt for the culprits has been launched.

She added that a possible breach of protection protocols will also be investigated.

“Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a robbery incident that took place on 06 November 2023, on the N3 between Vosloorus and Heidelberg.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the protectors attached to Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga had stopped on the N3 to attend to a punctured tyre when they were accosted by unknown suspects.

“A manhunt has since been launched following this unprecedented to bring to book those responsible for this attack.

“The Minister has in the meantime been provided with alternative resources. The SAPS is also probing if there were any breach of VIP protection protocols,” Mathe said.

‘SAPS committed to protecting everyone’

Meanwhile, the minister and her guards are receiving necessary support and counselling. National Transport Department spokesperson Collen Msibi said they were left unharmed.

“The matter is currently being investigated by the [SAPS], and as such, we are unable to provide further details,” said Msibi.

Reiterating the SAPS’s mandate, Mathe stated: “The SAPS is committed to executing its mandate of protecting the executive of the country and community at large. VIP protection is one of the key priority areas for the SAPS and has been undertaken with excellence over the years.

“We endeavour to continue to serve and protect whilst observing all aspects of our VIP protection protocols.”

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