Family seek answers after hijacking

Colette Khatib hopes more information will lead to the arrest of the suspect/s.

A Ferness Estate family is searching for answers that could lead to the arrest of those involved in a hijacking that happened last month.

Yunis Khatib, 62, was robbed, assaulted and hijacked on the corner of Acacia and Klip roads , on the evening of Friday September 17 and sustained severe injuries including broken ribs and a gash in his head.

Mr Khatib died in hospital a week and a half after the attack as a result of his injuries as well as an overdose of his prescribed blood pressure medication. The doctors who treated Mr Khatib said the cause of his death was septic shock.

According to police reports Mr Khatib was on his way home from his brother-in-law in Grassy Park when he was attacked, pulled from his bakkie and severely beaten.

His wife, Colette Khatib wasn’t clear on all the details of the attack because her husband couldn’t fully remember what happened.

“We are still trying to piece the pieces of the puzzle together and find answers,” said an emotional Ms Khatib who spoke to Southern Mail after her husband’s funeral.

His phone, wallet and Toyota Hilux bakkie were stolen during the attack and are still missing. According to bank records, the suspects who took his personal belongings also withdrew more than R10 000 from his bank account and made purchases at a sneaker shop to the value of over R4 000.

Ms Khatib confirmed her husband had been on his way home from her brother’s and must have been attacked soon after he left at about 8pm.

“I’m not sure what took place (after) he left my brother’s. All we know is that he managed to make his way back to my brother’s house and told him about the attack. They then called the police.

Yunis Khatib was burried two weeks ago.

“There was a four-hour lapse between the time he left my brother’ and when he returned without the bakkie,“ said Ms Khatib.

She suspects her husband was assaulted in order to get his bank PIN codes because of the transactions on his account after the attack.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Captain Wynita Kleinsmith confirmed the case and that they were investigating the incident. She encouraged anyone with information or who might have seen what happened, to come forward with the information.

“The incident happened at about 11.45pm on the corner of Acacia and Klip Road. According to the victim he was waiting for the robot to change when he noticed an unknown male opening the driver’s side of the vehicle . He grabbed the complainant and started to hit him.”

The silver Toyota Hilux bakkie, valued at R160 000 is still missing.

Ms Khatib pleaded with anyone who has information about her husband’s attack to call police.

“We as a family want closure after the traumatic incident. We also need help finding the bakkie because there has been no information from police. Any help would be appreciated because we need justice to prevail and those who did this to him to be arrested.”

Anyone with information can contact Grassy Park police on 021 700 3940.

Captain Kleinsmith confirmed there had been an increase in hijackings in the precinct over the past few months and appealed to residents to be vigilant.

She said criminals aren’t targeting a specific type of car as many types have been reported for hijacking.

“On Thursday September 3 three coloured men were arrested after a Toyota Fortuner was hi-jacked in Zeekoevlei. On Thursday September 23 a man, 25 and woman, also 25, were arrested after they were identified by police as possible suspects of robberies. It is their modus operandi to request an Uber or Bolt vehicle and then rob the victims of their vehicles.”

Both suspects are currently in Pollsmoor prison.

According to Captain Keinsmith these kinds of hijacking have stopped since the two were arrested but she still encouraged drivers to be safe, be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings.

Safety tips from police include:

-If confronted by hijacker , the aim is to survive the crime,

-Accept that you are going to lose your vehicle.

-Do not lose your cool and do not threaten or challenge the hijackers.

-Do exactly as told by the hijackers.

-Surrender your vehicle and move away – remember property can be replaced but lives can not.

-Don’t reach for valuables, as this may threaten the hijackers and they might hurt you.

-Answer questions truthfully, remain calm and do not show signs of aggression.

-Keep your hand visible .

-Gather as much information as possible, without posing a threat.

-If you have a baby/child in the back seat, inform the hijackers.

-Phone the police(10111) immediately after hijackers left.

-Cancel your bankcards immediately/block your cell phone if taken/change locks to any keys taken.