Seventy-four cash-in-transit heists have been committed in Gauteng in the past nine months. This was revealed at a sitting of the Community Safety Committee at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Friday, where the topics of cash-in-transit heists and Femicide took centre stage as two of the biggest safety concerns in the province.
Cash-in-transit heists in Gauteng are carried out by well-organised criminal groups armed with high powered firearms, automatic rifles and explosive devices.
Provincial Police Commissioner Deliwe de Lange says that although arrests have been made in only eleven of the cash-in-transit heist cases, the impact of those arrests has been massive.
“The actual number of suspects that we arrested is 28 suspects. We managed to recover nine AK47, one R5, one R4, one MB4 firearm and eleven nine mm firearms. We managed also to confiscate sixteen vehicles that were used in the commission of the robberies. We recovered two police radios and also two military bullet proof vests. We managed to recover R95 million.”
De Lange says the police aim to be proactive in their approach so that these heists can be prevented and not just reacted to. MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane says additional resources have been deployed to cash-heist hotspots.
“We have a number of officers, more than 7000 officers now that are involved in making sure that they prevent cash in transits in our province. Its SAPS as well as metro police officers in hotspots in areas where we believe that crime can be committed and their job is to be proactive. So it is proactive policing as opposed to reactive and if it happens, and the crime is committed, we are confident that the team that we have, including the Hawks and our crime intelligence team, will actually be able to deal with those crimes decisively.”
She also says that Femicide, both in Gauteng and nationally, continues to be a problem and that the only way to win this war is to change the mind-set of the men who are perpetrators.
“We have tried with our community awareness campaigns, we have tried with our workshops on men and boys, but we seem to still have a number of young men who believe that they own women. There are people who believe that when a young girl grows up she grows up to be someone’s wife or in order to be someone’s asset, and I think that mentality from our boys and men actually need to be dealt with and be eradicated.”