Robbery risk: customers worried about security at FNB in Church Street

2010-04-23 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG residents using the First National Bank branch on Church Street in the city centre have expressed concern about the security at the bank, saying it exposes many of its customers to the risk of being robbed.

Weekend Witness reported last week that a woman from KwaMpumuza, Eunice Zondi, and her colleague were robbed of about R5 600 of ­stokvel money they had withdrawn, only minutes after leaving the bank.

She alleges the criminals followed her from the bank.

Zondi and her colleague had just withdrawn the money when they were accosted by a woman and three men who pretended to be policemen. They were abducted, robbed and dumped in Ashburton.

She said they were loaned R14 by people in the area to take a taxi back to town.

After laying a charge on Saturday, Zondi was called by the police on Tuesday to identify possible suspects.

She pointed out two of the people as the man and woman who had robbed her.

“I recognised the woman because she was wearing a pink shirt while standing behind me in the queue and she was there when we were inside the car. I also recognised one of the men,” she said.

Zondi said the incident has caused her great inconvenience because the stokvel members do not believe she was robbed and want their money back.

They expect her to reimburse them.

After the story was published, other people in the city raised concerns about the security at the bank’s branch, saying the customers are “sitting ducks” for criminals.

A resident who visited the bank recently said: “Inside the bank there are so many people just loitering around, it’s hard to tell who is there for a legitimate reason and who is a crook.

“When I was there, even the security guard was standing outside.”

Attempts to contact the bank’s communications officers, Steve Higgins and Xolile Bhengu, were unsuccessful as their phones rang unanswered.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that two of the suspects had been identified and they will be arrested shortly.

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