Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla was hijacked by gunmen outside a clinic in Randburg on Sunday evening.
Makwetla’s spokesman, Ntime Skhosana, said the hijacking happened at 7.30pm outside the Life Riverfield Lodge.
“The men pointed a firearm at him [Makwetla] and forced the [hospital] security guards at the gate to get into the car with them. The guards were put in the boot while the minister was in the back seat,” said Skhosana.
The assailants drove around with him and the guards for more than seven hours before dumping them unharmed in Madidi in North West at 3am yesterday.
The minister was driving alone without any VIP protection.
“This whole thing is strange,” a police VIP protector assigned to escorting ministers and their deputies told TimesLive.
The gunmen took the minister’s bank card and cellphone, withdrew money and then moved him and the guards into another vehicle in which they were driven around for hours.
The police VIP protector, who did not want to be named, said it was rare that ministers and deputy ministers drove themselves.
“Maybe it will be a wake-up call to the government so they can see what crime is really like.”
Makwetla was visiting ANC stalwart Wally Serote in hospital.
Police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo confirmed the incident.
“Yes, I can confirm the deputy minister was robbed and taken from Johannesburg and was dropped in North West. That is all I can tell you for now.”