Robbers targeted Sassa millions in Shoprite hostage drama - Mbalula

2017-05-02 19:35
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is shown the aftermath of the attempted robbery at Nyanga Junction Shoprite. (Jenni Evans,  News24)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is shown the aftermath of the attempted robbery at Nyanga Junction Shoprite. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula commended police, security guards and Shoprite management for protecting ''millions'' in pension money from an attempted robbery at Nyanga Junction in Cape Town on Monday.

''They didn't even get a cent,'' said Mbalula at a briefing in the shopping centre on Tuesday afternoon, flanked by the Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Nkongi and acting provincial commissioner Brigadier General Patrick Mbotho.

A security guard and an alleged robber were shot during a standoff which began at Shoprite around 06:00 on the public holiday.

Mbotho said three men had attempted to pull off the robbery but the managers at Shoprite raised the alarm.

The security company TSU responded, and there was a shootout in which the security guard and one of the alleged robbers were hit.

Two of the robbers pulled an injured robber inside the supermarket and a 12-hour hostage situation unfolded.

Also read: Security guard shot in hostage situation dies

Shoprite said five supermarket employees, three contracted security staffers and two contract cleaners were held hostage the whole day.

A security guard who had been hit, was taken to hospital for treatment, but died on Tuesday morning.

The siege was ended by a police task team and in a sweep of the store, another alleged robber was killed in an ''engagement'' with police.

''Today somebody is fatherless because of the work of the criminals,'' said Mbalula. ''The father was coming to work to put bread on the table for his family. They killed an innocent security guard who did nothing [except to] work for his family and to fend for his family.''

Mbalula said the security company, police and the supermarket handled the situation and the aftermath well, and that staff had been offered counselling and support without him having to nag about it.

He said that in terms of the Constitution, that was a situation where his advice to police to ''shoot to kill'' was justified.

''Those boys - they must pray to God that they left here alive because we will never allow them to kill our people and terrorise the nation.

''It is not unconstitutional what I am saying. We must deal with each crime according to its merit and yesterday (Monday) we were dealing with dangerous individuals.

''When we say shoot to kill and shoot back, it is because of criminals that have got guns that they are not supposed to have.''

He warned gangsters in the province that police would crack down on them too.

''It is not business as usual. It is business unusual and criminals and suspects must know their place.

"These issues of gangsters running amok, thinking that this country belongs to them, we are equally attending to that.

''Wherever they are, wherever they are dancing, they must know they are dancing the last mile.''

Read more on:    shoprite  |  fikile mbalula  |  cape town  |  crime

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