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Mayor of S.African capital ‘carjacked’ by armed gang

Published on 26/05/2018

The mayor of South African capital Pretoria was 'carjacked' outside a restaurant in the early hours of Saturday by an armed gang that stole his silver Mercedes Benz.

Solly Msimanga, 37, has been mayor of Tshwane, the official name of Pretoria city and surrounding districts, since the opposition Democratic Alliance party won local elections in 2016.

“I was coming out of the restaurant after dinner when two guys approached me. As I was about to get into my car, one takes out a gun,” he told local media, admitting he was shaken by the incident.

“As I was standing there, they came pointed at me with the gun. I thought they actually wanted to take me.”

He said the car’s tracker had traced the vehicle for a short time before it stopped working.

Violent crime is notoriously common in South Africa, with armed robbery, rape, carjacking and muggings among the biggest threats.

According to annual crime figures released last year, there were 16,717 carjacking incidents reported, the highest number recorded in the last 10 years.

The murder rate has risen to 52 killings a day.

South African police often come under fire for failing to bring down crime, although officials insist that levels have declined since the end of apartheid in 1994.