Botswana Police Service (BPS) communications department has dismissed as false, allegations of recent hijackings reported to have been conducted by South African Police targeting vehicles bearing Botswana number plates.
A statement has been trending on social media in which the author alleges that the brutal occurrences have been taking place in areas surrounding the Ramatlabama border post area. The statement circulating on social media, which Botswana Police say its false, alleges that there has been close to ten reported cases of hijackings by South African police officers stopping Botswana number plate cars this December. According to the statement, the reports range from speed trap radar stopping to police vehicle following Batswana victims and flashing and “siren-ing” them to stop. The statement further alleged that the main area of attacks has been just outside Mafikeng town.
“These cops are very genuine and look like the real thing. Once you stop you would be gun held by the cop and a fresh team of guys who are not far off show up. You and your family will be held captive until the assailants have drawn all your money after demanding your pin from all your cards by threatening to shoot you. Your head will be forced down and covered. They will drive you to a nearby township and keep you captive whilst the second team go to draw money, until they have all they need. Then you will be cable tied and left in the bush. They take everything you have. They give you back your passport so you can return to Botswana immediately and not make trouble for them in RSA,” read the statement circulating on social media.
The statement further adds that they use all types of cop vehicles from bakkies to Corolla’s and that they are all carrying police signage and badges.
“There are no truths in news that has been disseminated on social media of cases involving attacks on Batswana in South Africa. Those are false rumors which are circulating, “said Botswana Police Deputy Public Relations Officer, Jayson Chabota.
He said he got into contact with their South African counterparts and that there are no such cases recorded, in contradiction to the circulating statement that suggests that over ten cases have been recorded.
“We have been in contact with South African police, there are no such cases. According to the statement, the lead investigator in RSA is Dawie Lang,” Chabota said that such a name does not exist in South African police records, “which means that it is a fabricated name.”