Workers at the Tugela Ferry Post Office in Msinga, near Greytown, are still reeling in shock after two armed men entered the office, held the staff at gunpoint and demanded the keys to the safe and cash on Tuesday.
The Witness established that officials at the post office were preparing to leave for a payout point when the assailants accosted them and demanded cash and valuables.
The men forced the branch manager into his car and drove away with him. The car was later found abandoned in Msinga, and the manager was not harmed.
Sassa KZN spokesperson Sandy Godlwana said: “Due to the volatile situation, to avert a security risk and for the safety of beneficiaries and officials, officials were compelled to postpone payments to April 19. The money van was informed by Sapo [South African Post Office] of the situation and the cash van had to cancel the trip.”
Affected beneficiaries were told to use merchant stores and ATMs to access their grants, Godlwana added.
The affected pay points include Msinga Top, Nocomboshe, Vimbukhalo and Collies.
“No Sapo official, beneficiary or Sassa official was harmed during the ordeal. A case of car theft, kidnapping and damage to property has been opened with Msinga Police Station,” Godlwana said.
Spokesperson for Sapo, Nobuhle Njapha said no cash was taken during the robbery.
“The staff at the office were traumatised due to the incident and trauma counselling was arranged.
“Post offices that are the victims of robberies are regarded as crime scenes by the police, and they have to be closed until the forensic investigation is complete to avoid disturbing the crime scene. The office is open for customers today [Wednesday].
“The post office is upgrading security at its outlets and has completed the upgrade at high-risk branches,” Njapha said.
KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a case of attempted business robbery is being investigated by Msinga police.
“It is alleged that two unknown suspects entered the business premises at Tugela Ferry. At gunpoint, the suspects demanded the safe keys and money. The police were alerted, and the suspects fled the scene. The matter is still under investigation,” Gwala said.