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Seven things that you should not do in Cape Town townships

If you are a motorist driving in kasi, there are certain rules of the game you must observe. I will not explore all of them in this article, but I will only seven which are important.

Seat belt

Car hijackers can easily target you when they see you wearing a seat belt. I was given this free advice by one notorious Nyanga-based car robber. “Chief you don’t do this here, we easily see that you are hijack-able (if there is such a word),” he told me as he stretched his hand to assist me to remove the seat belt since I was driving.

“Hijackers can tell that you are not from kasi just seeing you wearing a seatbelt. I know it’s for your safety but you can try and wear it in a manner that doesn’t expose you. Instead of wearing it on top of your shoulder, just tuck it under your arm. That way it is not visible to someone standing outside the car,” he said.

He however insisted that when I’m out of kasi I can wear it the way I was taught at the driving school.

2. Keep windows and doors locked

Amaphara(junkies) do not even wait for an invitation to rob you. They can open your doors when you least expect it and rob you of your belongings especially in a traffic jam or at robots. You can imagine the shock that can grip your body when you see people opening your doors from nowhere. This happens every day and you must be careful. About windows, I’m talking from experience.

My former colleague was busy on his phone when we were driving somewhere in Nyanga two years ago. He forgot to close the window as he was busy on WhatsApp while giggling at jokes from his girlfriend. I stopped at the stop sign and somebody snatched his phone and disappeared in between shacks. It was not at night but in broad daylight. “It was a clean job, at least you are not hurt, you will buy another phone. It’s not an iPhone after all,” I laughed as tried to cheer him up. But he was angry all the way, I lost count of how many times he shacked his head.

3. Do not deliver to people’s home addresses

On a daily basis at Brown’s Farm in Philippi, I see people looking for help after being helped. Their story is the same. “I had delivered something but when I arrived at the given address I was robbed,” I have heard this line countless times. The victims of this crime are people who get their ‘customers’ through Facebook Marketplace.

Whenever you need to deliver something, meet at the police station. Many people get robbed of the things they went to deliver, money, and cars and in some instances, they get robbed of their lives as well. Do you remember a restaurant owner who was delivering a TV in Philippi and was killed in September 2022?

4 Do not drive too close to a car in front of you

Always maintain a safe distance so that you will be able to escape in case of anything. Just in case.

5. Don’t leave valuables in the open

It’s not advisable to leave valuables on top of your seat or anywhere where thieves can see it from outside. Do not even leave your flash drive plugged into your car radio, amaphara does not think twice when they see it. You may find yourself having to pay lots of money to fix windows because it was broken by someone who wanted to steal a flash drive. Smash and grabs can happen even in a moving car when there is a traffic jam. Just keep your belongings under the seat, or in the boot.

6. Don’t look scared
Even when you are in a crime hotspot, never look scared. Amaphara knows the person of a scared person when they see and they know what to do. Pounce!

7. Don’t stop at robots at night
Safety first yes but do not stop on the robot in kasi at night merely because it is red. When it is safe for you to pass, just shoot that robot otherwise you will regret it. “I should have just…I shouldn’t have” will not help. Shoot that robot, DO IT safely and you will not regret it.

Caution: This opinion article is based on the experiences and observations of the author.

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