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Police have clamped down on the “unacceptable culture” of torching vehicles and shooting randomly into the air at the funerals of car hijackers in the Eastern Cape.

The hijackers‚ known by the popular title of “Amagintsa”‚ steal cars only to burn them later during the funerals of their colleagues.

“Some of them would go to the extent of shooting randomly in the air in any direction‚ a conduct that is equivalent to attempted murder or murder of innocent people‚” said police spokesman Captain Khaya Tonjeni on Friday.

“This behaviour is unacceptable and endangers members of the public at graveyards and those attending the funeral‚ including innocent bystanders‚” he said in a statement.

During the launch of Operation Fiela 2 police in the province learnt that a number hijackers’ funerals would be held last weekend. A large contingent of police were deployed at graveyards and popular funeral venues.

Eastern Cape provincial commissioner‚ Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga issued instructions for anyone found following the trend to be arrested.

“We were in Port Elizabeth with the chairperson of the portfolio committee on safety … launching Operation Fiela 2 when we noted criminals who were trying to hijack cars. Some went to the VW plant to rob seven cars but police managed to recover some of those stolen vehicles‚” said Ntshinga.

“We sent our members to stop them in their tracks. Even in funerals we deployed police vehicles and members to protect the public.”

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