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It was like a war zone: cash-in-transit guards suffer facial burns during Pretoria attack

A cash-in-transit vehicle that was attacked on the N4 in Pretoria. Photo: Yusuf Abramjee/Twitter

A cash-in-transit vehicle that was attacked on the N4 in Pretoria. Photo: Yusuf Abramjee/Twitter

Published Mar 18, 2022

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Pretoria – Security personnel travelling in a cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicle suffered burns after they were attacked on the N4 highway near Watermeyer off-ramp in Pretoria.

“Tshwane Emergency Services received the call at approximately 9.15pm, where it was reported that a vehicle was on fire on the N4 highway near Watermeyer offramp,” said Tshwane Emergency Services Department spokesperson Thabo Charles Mabaso.

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“Upon arrival at the scene, they found three vehicles that were on fire, of which one of them was a cash-in-transit vehicle.”

At the time, paramedics were treating two male patients, reported to be security officers for injuries which included facial burns.

“Firefighters managed to extinguish the vehicles. One patient was transported to Meulmed Hospital in moderate to serious condition and the other patient was airlifted to Milpark Hospital in a critical condition,” Mabaso said.

“Law enforcement agencies continued with crime scene investigations while all ramps going to N4/N1 at Proefplass interchange were closed.”

Gunfire can be heard ringing out repeatedly in videos shared online. Twitter users commented on the massive traffic backlog which resulted on the N4, with some saying the active crime scene resembled a war zone.

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Statistics show that there has been at least one cash-in-transit heist a day nationally in South Africa, since the beginning of the year, and more than half of these took place in Gauteng.

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A total of 35 CITs have been recorded in the country since the start of the year, and 21 of these were committed in Gauteng. The robberies had almost stopped for about a few months following a harrowing 2018 that saw 179 CITs being committed between January and July of that year.

Last month, the N3 highway near Spruitview, Ekurhuleni, was brought to a standstill after a cash van was bombed during an attempted robbery. The driver of the vehicle was shot in the head and left in a critical condition.

A video on social media showed four suspects attempting to rob the vehicle in front of other motorists. The suspects then fled in a white BMW closely followed by a white VW Polo.

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According to the City of Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services, the suspects escaped unharmed and the scene was handed over to the police.

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