“Three of them, armed with AK47s, jumped out of the bakkie and forced me and my two passengers to climb out of my vehicle. I ran away and while I was sitting in the long grass opposite the road, I could see how they loaded the bags of money from their bakkie into the boot of my BMW.”
The BMW was found at about 03:00 this morning on the Hendrina/Van Dyksdrift road, opposite the entrance of the Goedehoop Mine. In the grass next to the vehicle was an empty money bag.
Mr Enock Malaza, a businessman from Nasaret and Kwazamokuhle, told www.mobserver.co.za about the traumatic events last night. He is busy with renovations to his business in Kwazamokuhle and takes two builders every day from Middelburg to the site.
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Yesterday he drove there again and picked up the men. On their way back to Middelburg, they saw that something was happening on the road just past the Pullenshope turn-off.
“There were a few vehicles in front of me, and I thought it was an accident scene.”
He also saw that a vehicle was blocking the traffic.
“The next moment, we heard a big bang. I think it was when they were bombing the vehicle to get to the money.”
Mr Malaza was one of several vehicles that turned around, trying to get away from the scene.
“I took the Optimum gravel road with the idea to later get on the Middelburg road again, but about 600 metres onto the road a Toyota bakkie forced me from the road.”
Three men jumped out and pointed the AK47s right at Mr Malaza’s face, “I was scared that they were going to shoot me, so I jumped out and ran away.”
Mr Malaza had a weapon and cellphone with him but kept on running until he could hide in the long grass. “I did not have a chance against them.”
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he two men who were with him were not as fast to jump out of the vehicle, and he saw how the robbers slapped one of them in the face. Luckily they also ran to safety in the long grass.
“There were five people in the bakkie. The three that held us up with the AK47s, as well as two others that were in the bakkie. After they put all the money bags in my vehicle’s boot, they left the bakkie there and drove off in my BMW. While they were busy, two other vehicles, also a bakkie and what looked like the new-shape Volkswagen GTI, also stopped there, and all of them drove off together.”
He also said, “One of the robbers looked like he knew what he was doing. It seemed that he had done it before. It seemed that he had combat training too.”
• Mr Malaza called the police from the scene. Farmers and emergency groups stayed with them until the police arrived.
• Mr Malaza said that he did not fill up his vehicle before he left Kwazamokuhle. It is suspected that the vehicle ran empty and that is the reason why they left the vehicle next to the road.
The vehicle was found by Mr Barend Burger (from Farm Protek) at about 03:00 this morning. The keys to the vehicle were found on the seat.
• During the heist, the robbers shot a security guard in the head. The guard was taken to Life Midmed Hospital.
• On his arrival at the Hendrina Police Station, the police told him that they had found a bag with explosives in his vehicle’s boot, as well as a small empty safe, which the robbers left there.
• The forensic team is currently inspecting the BMW for possible leads like fingerprints and DNA that could assist them in their investigation.
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