Cyclists ditch helmets for cutting sheers

Ward 87 councillor Bridget Steer (back left), with members of the Illovo Cycle Group and local law enforcement, gear up to cut alien plants along the embankment on Rustenburg Road. Photo: Supplied.

Cyclists took their safety into their own hands and cleaned the community.

With the recent spate of bicycle hijackings along Rustenburg Road, cyclists decided to cut down the alien plants that had densely populated the embankment they have been victimised on.

Co-captain of the Illovo Cycle Group, George Sayegh said their club has been riding the route through Melville for the past 20 years. “We have experienced high numbers of hijackings recently, particularly on Rustenburg Road.” Sayegh continued and added that they had contacted the police about the matter and, although they had been proactive on the issue, they have, unfortunately, not been able to stop the hijackings.

“We are cleaning up where the criminals sit and wait to ambush cyclists,” explained Sayegh. He said that there are various cycle groups that ride this route trekking through the west and the east coming to the north.

Sayegh said that Melville is becoming unrideable and this is why they decided to carry out this initiative.

On the day, the cyclists, along with Ward 87 councillor Bridget Steer, they cut the grass and shrubs. Sayegh explained that the criminals’modus operandi has been to have a spotter on the western side of the road who will inform another on the eastern side that there are cyclists approaching. “What they usually do is hit the weakest link in the back, even if there is a group of six cyclists.”

Colonel Ivan Perumal of Brixton Police Station was also among the group that cleaned up the embankment.

He said that these bicycle hijackings had become way too frequent, adding that this initiative was a way for the community and local law enforcement to work together to address the issue. “These are the little things we can do to curb these hijackings. We think that if we get this cut it will hopefully prevent further hijackings.”

Perumal concluded this proves that the police can never solve crime entirely on their own, the community should get involved. “We want to catch these suspects, and what is happening now, is a step in the right direction for the community.”

Neo Phashe

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