A South Africa man who was robbed and locked in the boot of his car by his attackers was rescued after his girlfriend tweeted for help.

The man, whose name has not been published, was driving near Johannesburg when the car-jackers struck.

The attackers robbed him, before forcing him into the trunk of his Volkswagen Golf. While they were helping themselves to his possessions, however, they forgot about his mobile phone.

He used it to contact his girlfriend, Lynn Peters, sending her a text message asking for help and explaining his predicament.

Peters then took to Twitter, where she alerted other users to his plight on 7 April.

Twitter alert

Within seconds, seven of Peters' friends retweeted the message. One of them asked another South Africa member of the social network - @Pigspotter, who has more than 100,000 followers - to help spread the word.

Peter's friends ask for help
Peter's friends ask for help

@Pigspotter specialises in identifying police roadblocks and many of his followers on the social network belong to the security forces.

The appeal created a real buzz and police patrols kept each other informed via Twitter.

The car was eventually located 150 miles from where it was hijacked, much to the relief of its occupant, who was uninjured though traumatised by the experience.

When the kidnappers encountered a roadblock, they abandoned their car and fled on foot.

Police are continuing with their inquiries.