The level of crime in South Africa will once again be the focus of attention for many following the shoot-out that happened in the early hours of Thursday morning in north western Johannesburg, in Fourways.
Witkoppen Road in Fourways was, on Thursday morning, a scene of a high-speed chase between the police and a silver Honda Civic. According to The Star newspaper, the whole fracas started with the Randburg police patrolling an area of their precinct when they noticed a suspicious looking car which had no licence plates. When they tried to pull the vehicle over, the man who was behind the wheel sped off, resulting in the high speed chase that cut across the area of Randburg and spilled into nearby Douglasdale. As this all happened, other police vehicles ended up joining the chase in response to their workmates’ calls for back up.
According to the police from Douglasdale, the occupants of the Honda started firing at the police, who had no choice but to return the favour. This, the police contend, happened as the getaway car was turning into Witkoppen road. As the police started their shooting, they wounded the driver, who consequently swerved off the road due to his injury. This resulted in the arrest of the man. He was consequently taken to a nearby hospital so that his injuries could be taken care of while his counter-part was taken into custody. A surprising element to all this is that, according to the Gauteng police spokesperson, there were no fire arms in the car belonging to the perpetrators. This, according to news reports, no doubt, brings the questions of what may have happened to the weapons that the occupants of the Honda Civic had used to shoot at the police, if indeed they had.
Many residents, both from Lonehill, a nearby residential area and from Fourways itself reported hearing gunshots being fired around 3:00 am on Thursday. By morning, the remnants of the car were to be seen just off Witkoppen road, where the destroyed back windscreen of the car lay next to the abandoned vehicle, with the front windscreen smashed but still intact. A huge point of interest for most of the passers-by was the large dried pool of blood on the passenger’s side of the car, and the 10 bullet holes on its back and left side.
Until about 9 am, police were still conspicuous by their presence in Witkoppen road as they awaited the car to be towed away. As a result, traffic was literally bumper to bumper and the whole area of Lonehill was affected. However, things slowly returned to normal after the incident scene had been cleared around half past nine in the morning.