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Transport minister and her VIP protection unit robbed on N3

Transport minister and her VIP protection unit robbed on N3
Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga. (Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and her bodyguards were robbed on Monday morning.

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and her VIP protection unit were robbed of their belongings, including firearms, while travelling between the N3 Vosloorus and Heidelberg on Monday morning.

Department of Transport spokesperson Collen Msibi said the tyres of the minister’s car were punctured by spikes, bringing it to a stop and enabling the criminals to rob the occupants.  

“This incident took place in the early hours of Monday when the minister was en route to Pretoria, between N3 Vosloorus and Heidelberg,” said Msibi. 

“Both the minister and her dedicated SAPS protection team emerged from this incident unharmed and safe. Minister Chikunga remains committed to fulfilling her government responsibilities and is deeply grateful for the overwhelming support she has received from her fellow government colleagues and the people of South Africa.” 

transport minister robbed

VIP blue lights. (Photo: X, formerly Twitter @kg007man)

He did not say how many vehicles the minister and the unit were travelling in and how many had tyres punctured. 

Some sources have speculated that the ministry wanted to conceal the incident to avoid public scrutiny about how a minister could be robbed with her protection unit present. 

Msibi said that he could not provide further details because the matter is being investigated by the police.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Part 4: Police and security — moving away from elite pampering to actually fighting crime

Police did not comment by the time of publication. DM

This is a developing story.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Shem. Thankfully there’s no shortage of BMW SUVs and goons for the squad given the recent budget allocations so they’ll be able throw a few more her way.

  • Skerminkel the Third says:

    Who are these “people of South Africa” giving her “overwhelming support”?
    I bet it is not the same ones who funds a minister overseeing the failure of transport infrastructure and being “protected” by police who should actually be protecting the people.

  • Reginald van Rossum says:

    Not to be believed, wouldn’t happen to the DP………

  • Robert Pegg says:

    The blue light brigade just bring attention to themselves. If Ministers were driven around in normal cars, it would save tax payers millions of Rands. Why do Ministers think their lives are threatened every time they travel that they need SAPS protection ?

    • Johan Buys says:


      The new plan is every minister has four teams of VIP protection units. One heads off to Pretoria via Cape Town from Vosloosrus – see you in 4 days. The other takes direct. Another goes via Durban and Nelspruit, the third via Bloem, the fourth ambles around aimlessly.

      The minister meanwhile flies via helicopter.

      THAT will be VIP protection cadre style.

  • I wonder why I do not feel sad.

  • Hidden Name says:

    Where to even begin? Hilarious, unbelievably awesome protection from overpaid blue light brigade…. How on earth did they get it right -attackers must have been heavily armed and targeted them specifically. The blue light goons are typically heavily armed and equipped with body armor. Whole thing sounds way elaborate for a simple robbery. Conspiracy theories anyway? Perhaps they are not so unlikely, really if you consider the unmitigated mess of corruption nestling in that department.

  • Graeme J says:

    This is ironic on so many levels.

    Perhaps the honourable minister will now pay some attention to other people that have been ambushed and attacked in similar situations on “her roads”.

    • Peter Dexter says:

      You must be joking! ANC ministers are not there to serve the people, or be concerned about them. They are celebrities and should be treated as such – except in the run up to elections! Then they are caring servants of the people, ever smiling, handing out T shirts, kissing babies, donating homes with taxpayer’s money, just to ensure the feast continues.

  • Cachunk Cachunk says:

    You cannot make this stuff up. Minister of Transport being transported by “elite” blue light brigade cops and they get robbed on a public highway! Where else in the World would this happen? Pathetic, depressing and hilarious!

  • Peter Pyke says:

    Welcome to the real world.
    The solution to this is to sort out SAPS and not to increase VIP protection.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Welcome to the real word where the ordinary SA citizen dwells! It is time these cossetted, mostly inept, corpulent and overpaid ministers aka civil servants, are made to live and take their chances in life like the rest of us. If I had my way, I would force each of them, their deputies, head of departments, mayors etc. to only use government hospitals, government schools, public transport etc. One would soon see a drastic improvement in the public services that they expect Joe Citizen to use after they have destroyed, trashed, stolen, corrupted etc. As for the blue light goons – what a joke!

  • A Z says:

    Good. The only positive I can see from our ship of state now lying so low in the pit latrine this government’s corruption has created, is that die kak now sits around the gills of our most senior officers. Your people live in it every day, dear Minister. That’s not including all those who’ve already drowned.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    She will possibly blame Apartheid.

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    Very efficient and brave “protection squad’!

  • Paul Hjul says:

    How the hell are a VIP protection unit robbed of their firearms? Surely the police officers involved are carrying their firearms on their person. How do you have a person who is armed dispossesed of their arms without being harmed.

    Either the VIP protection unit did not have their firearms on their person – in which case what the hell did they have firearms for? Or there was a hostage situation, in which case how is this reported on only 24 hours later and without a full stand off situation?

    Or, as is unfortunately possible, there is a setup at play that allows a criminal faction access to state weapons and a story is being fabricated

    Either way the Minister of Police and the Minister in the Presidency responsible for State Security would in any functioning state be removed from cabinet after such an incident.

  • Walter Spatula says:

    No overwhelming support from the people of South Africa, I’m sure.

  • Phil Baker says:

    She should have taken the train…..
    Oh no she couldn’t – there isn’t one – cos she doesn’t do her job!

  • James Webster says:

    I’ve always said the ministers’ guards were as incompetent as the ministers themselves. Perhaps it’s time for someone to take a few pot shots at a few ministers.

    • Iam Fedup says:

      I too share that fantasy James Webster. Even though I was dubbed “Sad Sack” when I served in the SADF, I’m sure that I’d hit the target with more accuracy than the current useless people in the defence force who cannot even March in step…

  • Grenville Wilson says:

    This reporting is as usual absolute drivel, where the DM Journo is aloud to reproduce whatever drivel is fed to them by the Minister etal and DM publishes it without any intelligent enquiry! 🤔 🤷‍♂️

  • Johan Buys says:

    What do taxpayers spend on VIP protection per year?

  • Terry Pearse says:

    How many bags of lolly were in the boot? Or was it stuffed into the back seat?

  • Peter Wanliss says:

    So much unfair comment here. The job of the protection officers is to deal with motorists who don’t move over quickly enough. Whoever suggested that they were expected to deal with armed robbers? Surely that would be the task of the Protection Unit Protection Unit.

  • Manfred Hasewinkel says:

    My heart bleeds for the minister. The goons are nogal useless in a real situation when there are no unarmed citizens they can beat up.

  • Derek Jones says:

    They provide perfect scripts for a comedy series.

  • Maciek Szymanski says:

    No comment.

  • Terry Pearse says:

    Could there be a link between the Great N3 Highway robbery and SANRAL’s determination to award gigantic road construction contracts to foreign companies?

  • Ben Harper says:

    Hahahahaha Kry vir jou!

  • Robin Naidoo says:

    Travelling to Pietermaritzburg on Friday and an envoy of of 5 vehicles pushes you off the road at hig speeds.
    I don’t feel sorry for them. Now they will know what it feels like for so many South Africans being r9bbed and hijacked on South African roads.

  • paul Volker says:

    The minister is ‘grateful for the overwhelming support from her colleagues and the people of South Africa’. Read the room, we don’t give a toss

  • John Ritchie says:


  • gorgee beattie says:

    Only in South Africa.
    Seems like a CIT event?

  • Dana Biddle says:

    Maybe now they’ll do something about the regular crime on that section of road… don’t hold your breath!

  • Dermot Quinn says:

    The comments say it all…

  • George 007 says:

    What’s with all the BMWs? The minister actually makes herself conspicuous when traveling like this. If she were driving in a Toyota Corolla alone nobody would even notice her.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    Good. About time they all felt the consequences of their inadequate government and utter incompetence that affects all citizens on a day-to-day basis. Sadly for the rest of us, she did not have to suffer the pain, trauma and even death that many other criminal acts in SA result in.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    I’ll be deeply unsurprised to find that one or more members of the goon squad was in on it. The depths of useless they’d need to plumb for this to be possible without someone springing a leak would be hard even for saps. These clowns, as we know from the footage of the deputy capos squad in action, carry side arms and long guns and their massively expensive vehicles are highly likely to be equipped with runflats. Even without those a couple of hundred metres can easily be covered on wheel rims alone. On second thoughts, maybe they are just that useless.

  • virginia crawford says:

    So the blue light brigade are good at assaulting unarmed citizens but are helpless in the face of danger? She should have a word with Mr Useless, Bheki Cele. P.S. This made headlines around the world as did the shooting of a tourist in Cape Town. Go Tourism!

  • Jon Quirk says:

    The minister must feel very comforted that her highly trained, elite VIP protection unit, would lay down their lives to protect her, rather than handing their entire range of armaments over to co-conspirators, who presumably are splitting the spoils.

    Rattus Norvecus behave in the same way – turning to eating each other when under threat.

  • Mike Newton says:

    Welcome to the real wo0rld, Hon minister.

  • Ashley Stone says:

    Morning Minister. Welcome to the real world outside the bubble you live in.

  • Libby De Villiers says:

    Cry us a river!
    That’s life for you, mrs minister. This is the country you created.
    Ps. She must have chosen her security squad herself – useless.

  • Con Tester says:

    The only way this story could be any more hilariously revealing of the ANC’s bottomless incompetence and conceit is if instead it had happened to the Twat in the Hat Minister of Police.

    Also, it’s probably a good thing for them that ANC cadres, both individually and collectively, are immune to feeling embarrassment. It’s like they have a specialised variety of Dunning-Kruger that prevents honest introspection.

  • Roger Verite says:

    Is this Good news or Bad news? Good news is that even the Ministers feel the pain of what is now everyday South Africa lived by everyday South African’s. Bad News is that even R2 billion/yr can’t keep you safe. Eish.

  • William Morris says:

    This was a warning that unless she toes the line she will be punished, not a robbery.

  • Michael Thomlinson says:

    I remember an assisination attempt on Ronald Reagan. His bodyguard threw himslf into the line of fire and took a bullet for his president. Although Reagn was wounded his bodyguard undoubtably saved his life. So to compare that to our overpaid blue lighters: heavily armed, body armour and surely more than one car in the convoy and they still got robbed? Laughable!! What are we paying these guys for?

  • Vas K says:

    I’m absolutely astonished by the number and tone of the responses to this article. It just shows the magnitude of the contempt we all have, rightly, for the pathetic cadres.

  • Kowalski 747 says:

    She holds a Bachelor of Arts and an Honours degree in Curationis from the University of South Africa as well as a Master of Arts in Curationis from the University of Pretoria. From the Edendale Nursing College, she obtained both a Diploma in Midwifery and a Diploma in Nursing Science.
    BA Degree plus Nursing Diploma…Go figure..

  • I just cannot stop laughing.

  • Glyn M says:

    This clearly demonstrates that all these protection vehicles and staff surrounding minsters and their hangers-on a total waste of money. They can’t do their job and protect ministers. How is having a fleet of expensive vehicles, paid for by taxpayers, anything but a vanity performance, boasting about their own importance, whilst frittering away money collected from tax paying citizens, and not doing even doing their job. Unless of course, their mandate is to live high on the hog and spend as much much as they can on whilst they the ANC remains in power? Coz sure as hell, the country cannot afford them, so hopefully their continued hellish thieving presence won’t last for much longer.

  • Fuad XXX says:

    Firstly a misnomer is it not? Should be Taxi minister, surely? Next comes the protection unit – amazing how efficient when roughing up ordinary citizens & not forgetting how much they cost the taxpayer.

  • Lynn Wood says:

    On a more serious note.
    I would expect any professional personal protection unit to have identified this risk (tyre spikes) and put in place risk mitigation. Specifically run flat tyres that can allow the principal’s car to continue being driven at least to a location that can be properly secured.
    A quick internet search suggests you can drive at 80 k.p.h for 80km on run flats.
    I think BMW used to fit run flat tyres as standard, not sure if that is still the case.

    • Andre Grobler says:

      Well, the spikes mostly completely shred the tyres, so they are structurally not sound, i would not be surprised that if you were driving fast enough you would struggle to control the car, and or the chained spikes ends up around axles etc.

      Living on a road were this happens fairly regularly… driving fast is widely warned against… firstly so you can avoid and secondly to minimise damage so you can continue driving – and then ig you have to stop, you are warned to leave the vehicle and hide… unless you can shoot them, and you must shoot them as soon as you can see them, the criminals are usually violent.

  • James bb says:

    You really can’t make this stuff up can you? ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaaaa

  • Doug Southgate says:

    You can’t make this stuff up!!!!!

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    In the picture you can see six BMWs, five with blue lights and one without. If this is what all the ministers are entitled to combined with the out-of-the-world salaries paid to the public officials + free this and free that, it is clear why the accounts of this useless Government are in a luccicante red.

  • Johan Buys says:

    there HAS to be more to this in terms of what (not who) was in the cars. There must be softer targets to go for than a protection convoy.

  • William Kelly says:

    Don’t worry minister. The talking hat will make sure that the full might of the law is brought to bear on the nefarious criminals. If he can find them….

  • Bill Gild says:


  • william tyler says:

    This sounds like a load of codswollop vehicles of that caliber are normally fitted with run flat tires so you do not have to stop, you can still drive a long way (at reasonable speeds) after loosing air pressure. Something smells!

  • nima egumbo says:

    What an embarrassment to the security establishment! Who trained the so-called VIP security? How can they be out-smarted by common criminals and be robbed without anyone of them firing a shot?

  • I think our SAPS protection and security unit was never beefed up properly when addressing serious crimes committed in our country. The free movement of foreign nationals from neighboring countries who are roaming our cities and national roads cannot left unnoticed. Secondly, security departments was also not held up as supremacy like it used to be during the dark days of Apartheid. Lastly, all the citizens are no longer safe under this new dispensation and poor leadership.

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