Hijackings are on the increase in SA, according to the latest SAPS statistics. With these alarming figures, it’s all the more reason to learn the necessary self-defence skills. At Marksman’s Nest, level 3 self-defence course now incorporates anti-hijacking tactics. But the range also presents anti-hijacking skills as a standalone course.

The numbers

Between April and June 2022 hijackings were up 14% on the same period in 2021 – with 5 866 incidences reported across South Africa. Quarter-on-quarter, hijackings climbed 8.6% from 5,402 recorded cases in Q4 2021/2022.

According to insurer Dialdirect, hijackers operate according to their clients’ shopping list of make, model, how many and by when needed. As a result, hijackers target high traffic areas which pose the least risk for themselves.

The insurer indicated that shopping malls were favoured to identify possible victims. From here, hijackers would follow a target at a distance and usually strike at a traffic light. One tactic is to bump into a victim’s car, so that he/she would exit the vehicle.

Other preferred spots include residential driveways where hijackers typically box in a victim before the access gate is completely open.

Methods used

Dialdirect said typical hijacking methods included the imposter method where hijackers pose as officials to get people to pull over, or grant access to their properties. Then there’s also the Good Samaritan method whereby they convince targets that something is wrong with their vehicle. Other methods are:

  • The test drive method – posing as a potential vehicle buyer
  • Bumper bashing – to fake an accident
  • The breakdown method – getting victims to pull over or slow down to drive around them
  • The slow-moving traffic method – staking out a spot where traffic is moving slowly or following a target at a distance, later moving closer and striking at a traffic light.

Covering typical scenarios

Geoffrey Coetzee, Marksman’s Nest chief ranger, said the range tried to cover all scenarios in the anti-hijacking module. “The key is being alert, being aware of your surroundings, knowing who’s behind you, not getting distracted and stopping smart. Also, don’t forget to keep your valuables out of sight to prevent ‘window shopping’.

So, knowing that hijackings are on the increase in SA, it’s imperative to be a smart citizen to equip yourself with the necessary skills.

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