Fed up with crime in the area, traders and shopkeepers meted out “people’s justice” to a man after he and an accomplice tried to hijack an 80-year-old man in Monty Naicker Road (Pine Street) .

A video of the attempted hijacking and beating went viral on social media.

Eyewitnesses said when they heard the commotion around the old man’s car, people did not think twice about dealing with the two alleged hijackers.

A Toyota Camry was parked on the street. Two men approach the car from the driver’s side and wrestle with the driver. The men then pull the man out of the vehicle, shoving him to the ground.
A woman a few metres away sees the assault raised an alarm and rushes to help the man.

In few seconds, people rushed to her aid.  Some helping the elderly man, while others pursue the apparent hijackers. One of the men manages to get away, but the other one was caught.

People from the nearby uMlazi taxi rank and street vendors, begin assaulting the man.  The man was being hit with what appears to be sjamboks, sticks and belts.

A street vendor who asked not to be named said: “They beat him until they had had enough. They beat him for 30 minutes… A private service ambulance came to the scene, but the crowd chased the ambulance away. When police came, they had already finished.

“Police wrapped the man in a space blanket,” she added.

Another vendor said she was happy about what had happened. “These guys will take away your cell phone and stab you for your rings.” She said crime in the area was rampant as whoonga users robbed people in broad daylight.

Despite three police stations – Broad Street, Dr AB Xuma (Commercial) Street and Albert Park Metro police – being based in town, crime is still a problem. The police stations are around the corner. I don’t blame the police officers but rather poor management structures.

Police Spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Shooz Magudulela said he had not received a report of the incident.

“We only became aware of the incident through social media. We advise the driver to open a case at a nearest police station.

“We urge community members to refrain from taking the law into their own hands since it amounts to a criminal act, which is punishable,” he said.