'Good chance' Hazyview robbers will be caught

2013-10-04 14:54
Some of the rondavels at Aan de Vliet lodge. (Facebook)

Some of the rondavels at Aan de Vliet lodge. (Facebook)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A local security company says there is a good chance that three men who robbed 108 children from a Gauteng primary school choir who were on tour in Hazyview will be caught.

Hi-Tech Security operations manager Rudi van Niekerk believes the armed robbers, who attacked the pupils and 10 teachers from Laerskool Hennopspark in Centurion in the early hours of Thursday, were still in the Hazyview area.

"We know that they are hiding in the pine plantation close to the Aan de Vliet lodge, so with information from farmers and workers there is a good chance that the men will be caught," Van Niekerk told a Sapa correspondent on Friday.

Van Niekerk explained that he and other Hi-Tech staff had patrolled the area around the lodge throughout Thursday night after the three men tried to persuade workers to reveal the location of manager Christo du Plessis’ house.

Suspicions of link with farm murder

"We saw the criminals just across the river [on Thursday] afternoon. We crossed the river and fired shots at them, but they got away.

"A chopper patrolled from the air for a little while this [Friday] morning, but had to leave to attend to the murder that took place in Sabie," Van Niekerk said.

There have been suspicions of a link between the robbery and the murder, in which prominent timber farmer Paul Mason, 63, was shot dead on Thursday morning.

He was attacked when he and his wife, Gwyneth, 58, were accosted by four armed men when they returned home.

During the attack at Aan de Vliet, 108 children and three of 10 teachers were held at gunpoint and robbed of their valuables.

"These defenceless children are easy targets, especially since they come from a wealthy area and all have cellphones," said Van Niekerk.

‘Heroic’ teacher

The school spokesperson Anne Alkema described the actions of Juan Claassens, one of the teachers involved in the incident, as "heroic".

"Juan was the one who was held at gunpoint and ordered to get the possessions from the children. He woke the children professionally, explained the situation, and kept them calm. He was the hero during this ordeal," Alkema said.

The children, who arrived home on Thursday afternoon, were shaken but would be receiving counselling from the school.

The manner in which the police dealt with the crime has been questioned, after a dog unit reportedly left the scene without tracking the scent of the robbers.
Read more on:    police  |  mbombela

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.