With more than 295 reported cases of cash in transit (CIT) heists countrywide, Krugersdorp became the latest casualty on Monday morning, the Krugersdrop News reported.
At about 8.15am, security companies reported that a G4S CIT van was hit and shots were fired at the Shell service station on the corner of Market and Pretoria Streets (opposite President Square).
Business owners and eyewitnesses claimed they heard “a hail of gunfire” before screams and the sound of tyres spinning on the tar road. Once the dust had settled, it was clear the gunmen were gone.
Krugersdorp and Gauteng Flying Squad officers, as well as the Mogale City Traffic Department, were called to the scene, which was quickly secured.
It was confirmed that the CIT van had been targeted, but it was not yet clear whether any money was stolen.
Police Minister Beki Cele said that between 11 August 2017 and 20 May 2018, the Police and Hawks had recorded 295 incidents of CIT heists; 244 cases had been investigated, 130 arrests had been made and 44 convictions secured.
At an earlier briefing, Cele addressed the media and admitted that police had dropped the ball when it came to CIT heists. However, he also reassured South Africans that the police were now doing everything in their power to keep them safe.
“South Africans will soon be safe as we are going forward. We are putting all our minds together to ensure that we fulfil our mandate to prevent, combat and investigate crime.
We want to give our utmost assurance that the gigantic footsteps of the police will be felt in all corners of this country,” Cele said.
He also said the arrests of suspects in CIT cases reported in Boksburg and Limpopo were examples of “swift action by police in responding to cash-in-transit heists”.
CIT security officers belonging to the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) have threatened to strike on 11 June because they believe government has failed to protect them against criminal syndicates and organised criminals.
The National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Police also announced that it would host a special meeting on the issue on 13 June, with the main topic being CIT heists.
Fidelity Security Group CEO Wahl Bartmann also spoke out: “Last month alone, Fidelity spent in excess of R4.5 million on backup and support to secure resources and assets, and most importantly, to protect staff.”
Police had not yet released a statement about the heist in Krugersdorp.