By Nonceba Soul and Justine Fortuin –
The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) needs to revisit and beef up security at all its buildings in the city as a result of the increased robberies being committed.
These were sentiments expressed by MMM General Manager Communications, Qondile Khedama, in an interview following an armed robbery which took place around 0100Hrs on Thursday morning at the Leslie Monnanyane building behind the Home Affairs complex in Rocklands, Bloemfontein.
“This is a call for us as municipality to beef up our security because, clearly, the level of crime is actually rising and we have to, from time to time, relook at our security strategies. Failure to do that will result in us putting the lives of our workers in danger. That is why we have a strategy to relook at our security in general to make sure we are offering our people, including employees’ safety,” said Khedama.
According to reports, it is alleged that four suspects in balaclavas raided the building in the early hours of the morning, tied up the security officers before breaking into the safe and stealing an undisclosed sum of money.
“We have requested our employees to vacate the building until the SAPS have declared the building safe but as things stand, we are just giving the SAPS an opportunity to do their job in the form of investigations,” added Khedama.
“The incident happened around one in the morning when four armed robbers with balaclavas on, pounced on five female security guards who were on duty. One male security guard was on patrol inside the building. They tied their hands and locked them in the toilet. After that they went to the safe and used a grinder to force open and made away with an undisclosed amount of money,” said Thandi Mbambo, a Spokesperson for South African Police Service (SAPS) in Bloemfontein.
According to Mbambo, the SAPS crime investigation team detected that the suspects had gained entry through the back window that was already broken from a previous burglary. No suspects had been arrested at the time of going to print but investigations into the matter were continuing. No injuries or fatalities were reported.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports say another robbery was committed at a Shell Garage in General de Wet in Bloemfontein. The reports allege that six men came into the shop and bombed the safe but failed to open it. They are then alleged to have fled the scene with money from the till only.
These events come hot on the heels of a cash-in-transit heist which on the N8 between Bloemfontein and Botshabelo on Tuesday night.