A well-known tour guide, Mr Gerald Harris, was recently hijacked a week after his return from a seven-year stay in the Eastern Cape.
The hijacking occurred in front of the same house, in Hazyview, that was recently in the news after a cooler box containing rhino horns was found in a house under construction next door to it.
The men believed to have been responsible for the attack were apprehended at Elukwatini Crossing in the Badplaas area when they tried to sell the open safari vehicle which belongs to Vula Tours.
The incident took place, a few blocks away from the R536, the road from Hazyview to Kruger Gate.
At the time, rangers, gate officials at the Kruger National Park and the SAPS were put on high alert as such a vehicle could have been used to gain access to the park for illegal activities.
A friend recounted that Harris had been driving home from G’s Bistro when he came across a street party in front of the above-mentioned house.
The partying crowd stopped Harris’ vehicle at about 21:30. He asked them three times to “please” let him pass, but they refused.
He attempted to draw his gun but they hit him over the head, dragged him from the car and took his gun, his friend said.
Harris was beaten up in the street outside the vehicle and blacked out.
When he came to, the people and vehicle were gone. His cellphone and wallet had been stolen.
He knocked on the door of house 49 for help. He and the person who answered the door then drove around Hazyview to try and find the vehicle, but to no avail.
After midnight Harris was dropped at SAPS Hazyview where he made a statement. His colleague, Ms Melissa Brockmann, fetched him afterwards. He is recovering at home.
Sgt Peace Mbokane, communications officer of SAPS Elukwatini, said the arrest came after receiving a tip-off from a concerned citizen that three men at Elukwatini Crossing were trying to sell a safari vehicle.
At that stage the canvas canopy and seats of the vehicle had already been removed.
“Members arrested them, recovered the vehicle and went to recover the goods as well,” said Mbokane.
Messrs Matimba Nukoena (20), Cleo Nelmbini (24) and Tshepo Phiri (31) appeared in court in Eerstehoek last week.