The hijacking case was finally brought to book after spending nine years on the court’s roll.
The Christiana Regional Court has sentenced a 33-year-old convicted hijacker, to 12 years imprisonment following comprehensive investigations by the Serious Organised Crime (SOC) Unit of the Hawks.
The case against Neo Kaweng, a 33-year-old convicted hijacker, took about nine years to see through. The resilience shown by the Hawks in persevering for all these years to collect evidence against Kaweng is commendable.
In 2010, a truck driver, travelling from Kimberley to Johannesburg, stopped by at a local cafe in Christiana, a small agricultural town of about 3000 inhabitants that stretches along the banks of the Vaal River.
“The driver, who was reportedly on his way to Johannesburg from Kimberley, was accosted after he made a brief stop at a local café.
“When he returned to the truck he was pointed with a firearm and instructed to continue driving in the company of other suspects. The victim was subsequently dropped off at an isolated area after he was assaulted,” police spokesperson, Capt Tlangelani Rikhotso noted in a statement.
Somehow, the victim found his way to a nearby police station and the matter was immediately handed over to the Hawks for investigation.
The SOC Unit made strides, on the same day, and arrested Kawenga. The stolen truck was also recovered in 24 hours. However, neither the cargo that it was carrying nor Kawenga’s accomplices were ever found.
The 33-year-old maintained his innocence throughout the length of the trial and refused to cooperate with authorities in identifying the suspects he had participated in the crime with.
It is not clear, at this stage, why the case had dragged on for all those years. But, finally, after an intensive investigation, Kawenga was handed 12 years imprisonment.
The court would have been aware of the fact that the 33-year-old had already spent nine years of the case in jail. It is not clear, at this stage, if that period has been shaved off the prison term he was handed.