File picture: SAPS (Twitter)

DURBAN – A second attempted cash-in-transit heist in as many days was foiled on Wednesday morning thanks to quick action from the police’s special task force and national intervention unit, although one police member was injured during the altercation.   

During the early hours of the morning, a cash-in-transit vehicle was attacked while travelling on the R34 between Nkwalini and Empangeni, near the Mfuli game reserve, according to South African police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

“However, the South African Police Services’ special task force and national intervention unit were mobilised proactively after intelligence was received that the same security vehicle was going to be attacked,” said Naidoo.

He said that while travelling on the R34, the CIT vehicle slowed down as logs had been placed on the road.

The suspects opened fire on the van as they slowed down, but the special task force and national intervention unit opened fire, forcing the robbers to flee in a bakkie that was later found abandoned at Mtunzini.

“One member of the SAPS was injured during the shooting. No money was taken and no arrests have yet been made,” said Naidoo.

"The stabilisation interventions implemented on 4 June 2018 by the Minister of Police, Minister Bheki Cele, and the National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla John Sitole, has again proven to be successful."

On Tuesday, an attempted heist was also foiled after a shoot-out between suspects and the van’s security guards. That incident took place along the R68 between Dundee and Nqutu in the north of KwaZulu-Natal.

“A security vehicle with three occupants was transporting money from Dundee to Nqutu when they were attacked by a group of unknown men who fired shots at the CIT vehicle forcing the truck to leave the road,” said Naidoo.  

“A shoot-out ensued between the suspects and the guards. The suspects fled the scene in two vehicles, a white Hilux Toyota and white Audi, which was later found abandoned along the Helpmekaar gravel road.”

There were no reports of injuries and no money was taken, he said.

Earlier this month, three security guards had to be hospitalised after a successful heist in the midlands area of the province.

That incident saw a CIT vehicle travelling from Msinga to Greytown being ambushed after collecting cash at the Msinga Mall. Guards used explosives to access the vehicle and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

South Africa is experiencing a spate of CIT heists, mostly in the Gauteng area. However, experts have warned of the possibility that as police crack down in one province, the heavily armed gangs may simply move to other areas.

African News Agency (ANA)