We were scared because we are a French bank - employee

2015-11-17 19:02
Société Générale bank (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Société Générale bank (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - An employee at French bank Société Générale described the fear he and his colleagues felt as a group of armed men entered their premises on Tuesday afternoon. 

"It was traumatising [and] everyone was shook up. Some employees were shaken and scared especially after attacks in France and considering we are a French bank," Jonathan Kebble told News24. 

He said he and other employees were inside the bank when they suddenly saw police everywhere and helicopters flying past.

"Everyone in the office started moving away from the window. We heard a banging on the door like someone was trying to get through the door... We tried to block it and some sat by the door to watch [the door]," he said.

"Then ADT [security] came with guns and we saw police coming in with guns. Someone else banged the door, but it turned out to be the police. We couldn’t trust anyone."

Gauteng police confirmed there was an armed robbery at a building in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Tuesday afternoon, but did not confirm it was at Société Générale.

Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said five men armed with a rifle held up a man inside a lift in the building. 

"They took his laptop and iPad and fled from the building. A case of armed robbery is being investigated," he said. 

"There wasn't any hostage situation. It is unknown why the suspects entered the building."

When asked if the group specifically targeted the French bank, Dlamini said there were several offices in the building. 

However, Jameson Chauke, a guard at the bank, described seeing four men with "high powered rifles" on closed-circuit television. He said they looked like normal clients. 

"The room they went into, you couldn't see inside. There was no camera."

He said the head of security was called, who in turn called the police. 

"While we were calling the police, [the armed men] found a guy... and they hit him. These guys knew what they were doing.

"They just got out a few minutes after the police were called."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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