Criminals beware! These 5 South African car security innovations will make you think twice about stealing a car.
Many of us know the feeling when you walk outside to where you last parked your car and all you see is an empty space. Your heart sinks deep into your stomach, your throat goes all lumpy and then it hits you, your car has been stolen, tears follow. Car theft is an ongoing problem in South Africa and it's never a nice feeling to have anything taken from you, let alone your car, but we have to take our hats off to the people fighting back and literally doing whatever it takes to protect their precious whips. We did some digging and picked five uniquely South African innovations to prevent car theft. If you know of any other interesting anti car theft techniques or have invented your own, let us know, we would love to hear about it.
Top 5 Unique South African Car Security Innovations
A traditional healer was wanted by the SPCA for his interesting solution to protecting his car: two giant African Rock Pythons named Tiny and Naughty. Dr Mbuso Makhatini, from Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, leaves his pet snakes to slither around his Audi TT convertible while he is visiting clients. He claims the snakes are his ancestors and as is clear from the photos, they seem very comfortable in each other’s company.
We reckon this has got to be one of the best methods of protecting your car ever, although we can’t exactly condone that sort of treatment of animals.
This story goes back a few years but every now and then someone will ask us if it actually existed. Yes, a South African inventor did sell a flamethrower kit for your car, which would potentially roast an unsuspecting hijacker. In the news report we’ve found, Charles Fourie explains to the AP news service how his system works, and while he’s at it, stands rather creepily over a smouldering mannequin.
Unsurprisingly the system was made illegal but it was apparently fitted to nearly 30 cars. Personally I’d have one fitted if only to deal with parking payment machines in shopping malls.
DIY Toyota Hilux/Fortuner Solutions
Back in 2010, the rampant theft of Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models was causing a fair amount of concern. Why was it so easy to steal these cars? The situation became so dire that some insurance companies refused to insure said vehicles.
The reason that the cars were so vulnerable was a simple design feature exploited by thieves: the alarm horn was very close to the edge of the bonnet, and thieves would gently lift the bonnet, snip the wire to the horn and proceed to do whatever they wanted.
Toyota responded by fitting all post-2011 models with a special metal plate to thwart the attack, but one forum user on hilux4x4.co.za came up with a simple yet ingenious DIY adaptation: a microswitch would sound the alarm as soon as the bonnet was lifted. The tactic has since been copied countless times judging by the enthusiasm on the forum, it seems to have worked. If you have tried this or something similar to protect your Toyota, we’d love to hear about it.
A creative Citi Golf driver has come up with a frankly hilarious but genius anti-theft solution. We don’t know much more than what these images tell us, but this intrepid South African motorist seems to have welded a safe over the pedals of his beloved Citi Golf.
We assume he locks the box every time he leaves the car, which is a bit of a poke, but it’s much less bother than an insurance claim and learning the bus routes.
If you are this wonderful individual, please do contact us and let us know if you still have your car – we’d love to know if the system worked.
In 1999, the Wall Street Journal interviewed Chris Bezuidenhout, a man tasked with testing potential car security systems. He was asked by a Durban-based inventor to endorse a system which featured a three foot sword blade, mounted to a powerful spring beneath the car. A press of a button in the cabin would release the sword, literally chopping off ankles of anyone standing in its way.
Apparently a working model was demonstrated using test dummies, but try as we might we can’t find any images or footage of the device. Unsurprisingly, Mr Bezuidenhout turned it down. "When I said 'no' to the inventors, they nearly killed me," he said. "I think they believed they had a real money-spinner going until I arrived."