Woman arrested for posting ‘fake hijacking’ on Twitter

A 28-year-old woman who said on Twitter that she had been hijacked, launching a police search, has been arrested for providing fake information.
Image: SUHAIB SALEM

A 28-year-old woman who posted about an alleged hijacking on social media has been arrested for fabricating the incident.

The woman claimed she had been hijacked and kidnapped, prompting a multidisciplinary police and emergency service search. She claimed she was texting from the boot of the car, where her hijackers had locked her, as she was being taken to an unknown location.

“I’ll update u till I’m no more … (sic)” read one of the posts, made shortly before 9pm.

Her post was followed by more updates from her, a location including her car’s number plate and updates of how her battery was getting flat. She also claimed the hijackers were fighting over which of them would rape her.

Gauteng police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said the 28-year-old was arrested on Thursday for perjury, defeating the ends of justice and fraud. This after she reported the hijacking and kidnapping earlier that day at the Protea Glen police station in Soweto.

But, said Masondo, the information she gave was false.

Masondo said that in the woman’s statement, given under oath, she described how on Wednesday evening her vehicle was taken by unknown men in Mohlakeng, Randfontein. She said she was put inside the boot and that the hijackers drove around with her for the better part of the evening.

“A team under the leadership of West Rand District commissioner Maj-Gen Fred Kekana, comprising of senior detectives, members of crime intelligence and other police response units, that worked throughout the night to locate the ‘hijacked woman’ swiftly established discrepancies in the supposed victim’s statement,” he said.

Masondo said it emerged later that the woman confessed that she was never kidnapped.

“Police confiscated the car of the suspect that she alleged was hijacked and her two cellphones, including the one she claimed was taken by the ‘hijackers’,” he said.

He said an immediate arrest was made. The woman is expected to appear before the Protea magistrate’s court on Friday.

Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela welcomed the arrest and commended officers for paying attention to detail and swiftly poking holes in the woman’s false report.

TimesLIVE

By Shonisani Tshikalange

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