File photo: Reuters

Durban - Robbers tied up three security guards at a Durban golf course early on Wednesday morning and used explosives to blow up two safes, but burnt the money and jammed the doors.


They escaped with some of the unburnt money and cash from a third safe at the Durban Golf Club, situated at the Papwa Sewgolum Golf Course in Reservoir Hills.

According to a reliable source, three men wearing balaclavas, armed with a rifle and handguns, held up two patrol guards in the parking lot.

The men dragged the guards to the guardhouse and bound them with cable ties. A third man who was guarding the parks department depot next to the golf course was held at gunpoint. He was tied up with the other two.

The guards were threatened and robbed of their cellphones. They were instructed not to look at their assailants, who then cut the wires of the alarm system, damaging the circuit board and tripping the power boxes.

The source said the robbers then went to the caddies’ office, where the daily takings were kept, cut a hole through the roof and climbed in. They removed ceiling boards and went inside the office where they found a two-door safe mounted on the wall.

Using an explosive device, they blew up the safe but only the bottom half opened, revealing the cash inside. Some of the money was burnt and was left behind. They were unable to open the second door which was jammed by the damage.

They took an undisclosed amount of unburnt cash from the safe.

The robbers then broke the burglar gate and door to the manager’s office and set explosives on a safe attached to the wall. After the blast they could not open the safe door, so they went to the bar where they pulled off another wall-mounted safe and broke open the door. They took an undisclosed amount of cash, as well as cigarettes and liquor, before fleeing.

Police were alerted to the crime after the day shift security guards arrived at 6am and called the club’s management.

The guards told police they did not see the robbers’ getaway vehicle.

Police cordoned off the area and called in the bomb squad who used sniffer dogs to search for any explosives. None were found.

Police said the guards were not injured, but were shaken after being tied up for more than four hours. They said the robbers were professionals who had come equipped for the job.

Detective Warrant Officer Sujit Rohith, of the SAPS Inanda trio crimes cluster, said the type of explosives used had not yet been determined.

Durban Golf Club manager, Dhanashan Nair, confirmed there had been a break-in at their offices. He said his committee did not want to jeopardise the investigation and would release a statement in due course.

Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, confirmed the incident.

He said a case of business robbery was under investigation.

Anyone with information that could assist police in making an arrest is urged to contact Rohith at 079 500 0315.

Sydenham Community Police Forum spokesman, Satish Dhupelia, said the incident showed how advanced criminals had become.

He said in the past criminals had blown up ATMs.

“This is a change in tactics where they are targeting clubs and businesses,” he said.

Daily News