Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Pretoria (February 14, 2020)

Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Pretoria (February 14, 2020)

Location: South Africa – Botswana Border

Event:    Recent reports on social media indicate increased criminal activity on the R49 and N4 highways at the South Africa – Botswana border.  These robberies, usually occurring at night, involve an “unmarked police” vehicle with a flashing blue magnetic “bubble” light on top of the vehicle pulling motorists over and robbing them.  Official South African police vehicles do not use magnetic “bubble” lights and will be obviously marked “Police”.

The U.S. Embassy discourages travel outside of major metropolitan areas during hours of darkness.  If you find yourself being pulled over by a police vehicle and are not sure if it is a legitimate police officer, turn your hazards on and drive to a well-lit area and ask to see the police officer’s identification card.  Fleeing from a legitimate police vehicle can cause a life-threatening situation.

Actions to Take:

  • Use caution when driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.


  • United States Consulate General, Johannesburg
    (Covering Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, and Free State provinces)
    1 Sandton Drive (corner of Rivonia and Sandton Drive)
    Sandhurst, Johannesburg
    Tel: 011-290-3000 (outside South Africa: +27-11-290-3000)
    After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1684 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-1684)