Men pretending to be police officers attacked and robbed the wife of one of Zimbabwe’s Vice-Presidents and other passengers of money and goods worth over R1 million in Johannesburg this weekend.
Zimbabwe has two Vice-Presidents.
The vehicle in which Laurinda Mphoko, the wife of Phelekezela Mphoko, was driving was stopped at the corner of Barry Hertzog Avenue and Empire Road in Parktown on Saturday.
Mphoko was on her way to the Oriental Plaza in Joburg at the time.
According to a source, there were five others in the car besides Mphoko, including a four-year-old boy.
At some point, the little boy is alleged to have drawn their attention to a white car that had been following them for some time, but no one took much notice of his observation until it was too late.
The four men from this car stopped the vehicle Mphoko was in and flashed a wallet containing a police badge at them.
“One of the men had a pistol, the others were carrying knives,” the source said.
In the attack, Mphoko and her daughter, who is a doctor, were allegedly assaulted.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, a spokesman for the provincial police, confirmed the incident, but said he was “not aware of any assault”.
“The driver was confronted by an unknown number of suspects driving a white Hyundai. Suspect(s) showed them what looked like a police appointment document. They (the victims) were threatened with a knife and the suspects demanded their personal belongings,” Dlamini said.
He said the “victims were then robbed of a ruby-and-diamond ring, bangles, $1 000 cash, a Cartier watch and Samsung Galaxy phone”.
“The estimated value of the stolen goods was about R1 million. No one has been arrested yet.”
Two weeks ago, a Nigerian African Union delegate was attacked by suspects who pretended to be police officers.
The man was on his way from the airport to Sandton when the suspects stopped him on the M1 at the Marlboro turn-off. He was robbed of $5 000 and R700.
The suspects were also driving a Hyundai.