Johannesburg - Not even a police station opposite the Jabulani Mall in Soweto could deter the latest brazen cash-in-transit heist, which took place in broad daylight and resulted in a woman being shot.
Ironically, Monday’s robbery took place on a day when five suspects arrested in connection with last week’s daring cash-in-transit heist appeared in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court.
The suspects were remanded in custody.
In the latest incident, Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said a group of men ambushed a cash van belonging to security company G4S at the mall in the morning and made off with an undisclosed amount of money.
Eyewitnesses who work at the mall said the robbers used a Nissan NP200 bakkie to carry out the crime.
Dlamini said the guards were collecting money from the gambling establishment Bettabets when they were surprised by the robbers.
“We don’t know how many suspects they were but they fired several shots during the heist.
“I don’t think the guards would know the number of people who attacked them. They (the guards) just said there was a group of men, who fired several shots, took an undisclosed amount and fled the scene,” Dlamini said.
“While the robbers were fleeing, they fired some shots where a woman, who was in the parking lot, was shot. She was shot in the leg and has been taken to the hospital. At this stage, no one has been arrested,” Dlamini said.
He added that there were only two guards from G4S, and the robbers took all the cash boxes.
An eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous, said the G4S drivers chased after the bakkie after the cash boxes were taken, which resulted in the parking lot shootout.
“The robbers headed in a southerly direction towards the entrance closest to the Jabulani police station and the Soweto Theatre.
“After roughly five minutes, the cash van returned to the shop where the robbery took place after an unsuccessful chase.
“I heard the shots ringing out from down there, and heard that an innocent bystander was shot,” said the witness.
Another onlooker, who also asked to remain anonymous, said he also saw a white Nissan, where one of the men had a small pistol and another had a rifle.
The witness added that the assailant who wielded the rifle sported dreadlocks.
Meanwhile, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) on Monday applauded the decision taken by Parliament’s portfolio committee on police to hold a special cash-in-transit heists meeting next month in an effort to curb the escalating number of attacks.
“As an organisation whose members comprise cash-in-transit (CIT) companies, Sabric is gravely concerned and alarmed about the crisis proportions that CIT attacks have reached.
“This negatively impacts on the country and economy, investor confidence, our member banks and CIT companies, the public and society,” Kalyani Pillay, Sabric’s chief executive, said.
“Parliament has a vital constitutional mandate to perform legislative and policy oversight and provide a forum for dialogue on issues of national importance,” Pillay said.
Last week, Dr Hennie Lochner, a criminal investigation expert based at Unisa, said robbers were highly advanced in executing the heists and sometimes colluded with rotten cops.
“What makes them dangerous is their psyche that tells them that the money in the cash vans belongs to them and they will protect it in any way necessary,” Lochner, a former detective who has interviewed 21 convicted robbers, had said.