Cash-in-transit security guards are appealing to government to intervene and help curb the escalating violent attacks on cash vans. Since January, there have been almost 160 cash heists across the country.
In the majority of these brazen attacks, the robbers – armed with automatic rifles – use commercial explosives to blow open the vans.
On Tuesday, thousands of security guards brought traffic to a stand-still in the country’s major cities as they marched to voice their concern about the attacks and the impact on their lives.
They’ve heard enough and they want the attacks to stop. Cash-in-transit security officers took to the streets of the country’s major cities including in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Durban, to say Enough is Enough.
In Johannesburg – the cash guards drove their vans at less than 20 kilometres an hour on the N1 highway towards the CBD, causing heavy traffic delays during the morning peak period. Their union, FEDUSA is calling on government, the police and cash-in-transit companies to work together to prevent further cash heists.
FEDUSA’s Frank Nxumalo says, “Many of our members have either been seriously injured or lost their lives. and also members of the public have been caught in the crossfire. so we are here to appeal to the authorities to stop the killings of our members because criminals are doing this with impunity and it can not go on. we are also worried about the ability of our police officers to gather crime intelligence so they can pre-empt these kind of incidents. so we appeal to the authorities to say enough is enough.”
Piet Jansen has been a cash-in-transit guard for the past 8 years. Last month, he was attacked and his cash van was blown open by robbers in the south of Johannesburg.
“I work cash in transit and i was in a robbery on 20 of last month were the robbers robbed me and put a bomb in the truck. I was making a pick up at Shoprite in Southdale and that’s where the robbers attacked me. and i was alone, i was the driver. they blocked me and i can’t come out. Then they put the bomb and forced me to come out. there was 8 guys but you feel very bad because you already disarmed, what you going to do with one 9mm and those guys got r5’s, ak47 and 9mm. you don’t have power.”
Jansen says they need improved training. He says even the weapons they carry are not a match for the fully automatic assault rifles used by the robbers.
“Now what I want is for government to help the cash in transit companies to reinforce the security and put at least 4 people in the trucks heavily armed, and also for the police to be there to help us with these cash in transit robberies. I think they going to stop. But now the robberies are too much, because they can’t bomb the ATM’s anymore because the money is going to be inked. Now what they are doing is coming to our trucks and they come full force. They come with bombs, heavy guns and our companies are not so heavy armed, and we want government to help us heavy arm our company.”
In Mpumalanga, security guards affiliated to the Motor Transport Workers Union of South Africa submitted their memorandum at the Nelspruit police station. They also held a picket outside offices of cash in transit company G4S in Mbombela.
The union’s Derick Whitey says, “What we need from South Africa and the people, is to help us as workers and employees as members of the union to prevent these robbers from what they are doing, they robbing us, they killing us, they make sure that our kids grow up without farmers, so we demand that everything must be visible from the police side, we need high calibre, vehicles as well, we can prevent these bombings of the vehicles.”
Marches also took place in Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Durban.
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